Applications of the Theory of Postformal Thought to Education

  • Jan D. Sinnott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


In what ways might we apply all this information about the Theory of Postformal Thought to the activity of education in its formal or informal, institutional or casual, primary or secondary or postsecondary forms? There are five areas to which Postformal Theory applies: its relation to the concept of “learning,” the methods and philosophies by which teachers teach, how master teachers reason, the structure of learning institutions, and how adult learners learn (or fail to learn). The Theory of Postformal Thought applies to all these areas, since it describes one kind of person who might teach and a kind of institution in which teaching might take place. In Part IV, Chapter 21, we will examine educational interventions that facilitate the development of postformal thought both in students and in teachers in training.


Adult Learner Expert Teacher Learning Institution General System Theory Formal Operation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan D. Sinnott
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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