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CAEL Research

Why the Adult Brain Likes PLA

Based on my experience in the PLA world for more than 40 years—as a teacher, mentor, and assessor in programs that have benefitted from CAEL’s pioneering advocacy of PLA—I think we need to do more to showcase the fact that students often gain new learning from the process of PLA. I, therefore, propose an additional tag line—something like: “The experience, not the learning, is what’s prior in PLA. PLA leads to new learning.” Which brings me to the title of this piece: Why the Adult Brain Likes PLA. Or, more explicitly: How PLA works with an adult learner’s brain, especially when it involves constructive, intentional guidance from an experienced educator or facilitator.