Righting Citing - Text B

What citing problems can you see in the following text taken from the Introduction of an article published in an international psychiatry journal?* How might you help an author see and resolve the difficulties?

... The theory of adult learning, identified and popularized by Knowles, describes four distinct qualities of adult learners: self-directedness, resourcefulness for learning from life experience, motivation from tasks required for the performance of social roles, and problem-centered learning (1). Knowles’ adult learning theory was a theoretical cornerstone in the transformation of lecture-based curricula into self-directed, problem-based learning programs throughout North American undergraduate medical schools and formed the basis of continuing medical education (CME) models of life-long learning.

Adult learning has recently been challenged on both empirical and theoretical grounds. In his article, "The Adult Learner: A Mythical Species," Norman points to a lack of empirical evidence for the adult learner as intrinsically self-directed. Problem-based learning research shows that undergraduate medical students are motivated by grades and honors (2) and are more motivated by implicit short-term program agendas and final exam objectives than by personal interests (3).


  • 1. Norman GR: The adult learner: a mythical species. Acad Med 1999; 74:886-889
  • 2. O’Neill P, Baxter CM, Morris J: Does awarding a medical degree with honours act as a motivator or demotivator to student learning? Med Educ 1999; 33:66-571
  • 3. Newble DI, Jaeger K: The effect of assessments and examinations on the learning of medical students. Med Educ 1983; 17:165-171
*Keri-Leigh Cassidy. The Adult Learner Rediscovered: Psychiatry Residents’ Push for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Training and a Learner-Driven Model of Educational Change. Acad Psychiatry 2004 28: 215-220.

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