Adult Learning and Education (ALE) is now a recognized professional field. The theoretical perspectives, underlying practices, and policies draw on a variety of academic disciplines. Various theories of learning and of adult education participation shape the practice and the engineering of adult learning. This graduate student guide explores the theories of ALE participation. It provides a frame of reference for understanding the development of a rapidly evolving field and for enhancing knowledge and competencies in this professional domain. In the first section, the book provides a review of the most important learning theories, including the behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivist approaches; their modern development; as well as specific developments in adult education theory. The second section examines the psychological and sociological theoretical backgrounds of ALE participation, in order to understand the factors at work in participation patterns along the adult life course and between different social contexts.