Malcolm Knowles was an American educator who theorized adult education. He brought the term andragogy into use as a term associated with adult education. The first use of the term andragogy was by Alexander Kapp in Smith, M. Kearsley, Knowles gave adult learners 5 characteristics:.
Malcolm Knowles and the Six Assumptions Underlying Andragogy
The theory of andragogy is an attempt by Malcolm Knowles to explain how adults are able to continue learning. As part of his theory of andragogy, Knowles makes 5 specific assumptions about adult learners when compared to child learners. When he originally proposed his theory in , the first four assumptions were included.
Knowles emphasizes that adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for decisions. Adult learning programs must accommodate this fundamental aspect. Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning: 1 Adults need to know why they need to learn something 2 Adults need to learn experientially, 3 Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and 4 Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. In practical terms, andragogy means that instruction for adults needs to focus more on the process and less on the content being taught. Strategies such as case studies, role playing, simulations, and self-evaluation are most useful.