For Knowles, andragogy was premised on at a comprehensive theory (or model) of adult. There is no single theory of learning that can be ap- major theories— andragogy, self-directed learning, ways adults and children learn, Malcolm Knowles. Andragogy refers to methods and principles used in adult education. The word comes from the (theory) and supporting (practice) lifelong education of adults. In the tradition of Malcolm Knowles, a specific theoretical and practical approach.

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He wrote the first major accounts of informal adult education and the history of adult education in the United States. He also wrote popular works on self-direction and on groupwork with his wife Hulda. In this article we review and assess his intellectual contribution in this area with respect to the development of the notions of informal adult education, andragogy and self-direction. Born in and initially raised in Montana, Malcolm S. Knowles appears to have had a reasonably happy childhood.

His father was a veterinarian and from around the age of four Knowles often accompanied him on his visits to farms and ranches. While driving to and from these locations, we engaged in serious discussions about knodles sorts of subjects, such as the meaning andragohy life, right and wrong, religion, politics, success, happiness and andtagogy a growing child is curious about.

I distinctly remember feeling like a companion rather than an inferior. My father often asked what I thought about before he said what he thought, and gave me the feeling that he respected my mind. Boy scouting was also a significant place of formation: Malcolm Knowles gained a scholarship to Harvard and took courses in philosophy where he was particularly influenced by the lecturing of Alfred North Whiteheadliterature, history, political science, ethics and international law. Again, his extracurricular activities were particularly significant to him.

Involvement in voluntary service for the latter got him working in a boys club. Knowles also met his wife Hulda at Harvard. Initially intending to make a career in the Foreign Service, Malcolm Knowles enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy when he graduated in from Harvard. He passed the Foreign Service exam — but there was a three year wait for entry.

The Principles of Adult Learning Theory – Rutgers

Hulda and he had got married in and he needed a job. Knowles joined the new National Youth Administration in Massachusetts. His job involved him in finding out what skills local employers were looking for, establishing courses to teach those skills, and recruiting young people to take the courses.

About three months into the work malcokm met Eduard Lindeman who was involved in the supervision of training within the NYA. Lindeman took Knowles under his wing and effectively became his mentor. He was drafted into the Navy inbegan to read widely around the field of adult education, and decided to undertake a masters programme at the University of Chicago when he was mustered out.

His adviser at the University of Chicago was Cyril O. Knowles also fell under the influence of Carl Rogers. Malcolm Knowles gained his MA in His thesis became the basis of his first book Informal Adult Andrsgogy published in see below. He attended a couple of summer sessions of the National Training Laboratories in and and was influenced by the thinking of their founders: Knowles spent nine years at the Adult Education Association, and as Jarvis He also started studying for a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Significantly, he began charting theorg development of the adult education movement in andragovy United States — and this appeared in book form in Mzlcolm was the first major attempt to bring together the various threads of the movement — and while it was not a detailed historical study Jarvis He saw that the movement was, in a sense, peripheral to the maloclm institutions in society and yet important to it.


Andragogy – Wikipedia

He recognized that the very disparate nature of the movement prevented its being adequately coordinated from a central position. In Malcolm S. Knowles joined the staff at Boston University as an associate professor of adult education with tenure and set about launching a new graduate programme. He spent some 14 years there during which time he produced his key texts: These books were to cement his position at the centre of adult education discourse sndragogy the United States and to popularize the notion of andragogy see below.

He also updated his key texts and published a new book on Self Directed Learning He had theoory to write further articles and books. He died on Thanksgiving Day,suffering a stroke at his makcolm in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In Britain Josephine Macalister Brew had published the first full-length treatment of informal education in However Informal Adult Education was a significant addition to the literature.

He contrasts formal and informal programmes as follows:. Formal programs are those sponsored for the most part by established educational institutions, such as universities, high schools, and trade kbowles.

While many adults participate in the courses without working for credit, they are organized essentially for credit students… Informal classes, on the other hand, are generally fitted into more general programs of such organizations as the YMCA and YWCA, community centers, labor unions, industries and churches.

This distinction is reminiscent of that later employed by Coombs and others to distinguish formal from non-formal education. Informal programmes, Malcolm S. Knowles suggests, are more likely to use group and forum approaches.

Several important differences are found theorg the interests in organized classes and the interests in lecture, forum and club anndragogy. In the first place, the former are likely to be stable, long-term interests, while the latter are more transitory.

In the second place, lectures, forums and club programs are more flexible than organized classes. In a program series the topics can range from pure entertainment to serious lectures, while an organized class is necessarily limited to a single subject-matter area. Third, the lecture, forum, and club types of programs generally require less commitment of time, money and energy from participants than do organized classes.

As a result they are likely to attract people with somewhat less intense interest.

Lifelong Learning Matters

Malcolm Knowles was able to draw on material from various emerging areas of expertise. This included understandings gained from his time with Eduard Lindeman, Cyril O.

Houle and others within the adult education field; his knowledge of community organization within and beyond the YMCA and via the work of Arthur Dunham and others ; a growing appreciation of the dynamics of personality and human development via Carl Rogers and Arthur Sheldin ; and an appreciation of groupwork and group dynamics especially via those associated with the National Training Laboratories.

He also had some insights into the relationship of adult education activities to democracy from his contact with Dorothy Hewlitt at the NYA see Hewitt and Andrayogy The major problems of our age deal with human relations; the solutions can be found only in education.

Malcklm in human relations is a skill that must be learned; it is learned in the home, in the school, in the church, on the job, thepry wherever people gather together in small groups.


This fact makes the task of every leader of adult groups real, specific, and clear: Every adult group, of whatever nature, must become a laboratory of democracy, a place where people may have the experience of learning to live co-operatively. Attitudes and opinions are formed primarily in the study groups, work groups, and play groups with which adults affiliate voluntarily. These groups are the foundation stones of our democracy. Their goals largely determine the goals of our society.

Adult learning should produce at least these outcomes:. Adults should acquire a mature understanding of themselves. They should understand their needs, motivations, interests, capacities, and goals. They should be able to look at themselves objectively and maturely. They should accept themselves and respect themselves for what they are, while striving earnestly to become better.

Adults should develop an attitude of acceptance, love, and respect toward others. This is the attitude on which all human relations depend. Adults must learn to distinguish between people and ideas, and to challenge ideas without threatening people. Ideally, this attitude will go beyond acceptance, love, and respect, to empathy and the sincere desire to help others.

Adults should develop a dynamic attitude toward life. They should accept the fact of change and should think of themselves as always changing.

They should acquire the habit of looking at every experience as an opportunity to learn and should become skillful in knoles from it.

Adults should learn to react to the causes, not the symptoms, of behavior. Solutions to problems lie in their causes, not in their symptoms.

We have learned to apply this lesson in the physical world, but have yet to learn to apply it in human relations. Adults should acquire the skills necessary to achieve the potentials of their personalities. Every person has capacities that, if realized, will contribute to the well-being of himself and of society.

To achieve these potentials requires skills of many kinds—vocational, social, recreational, civic, artistic, and the like. It should be a goal of education to give each individual those skills necessary for him to make full use of his capacities. Knowls should understand the essential values in the capital of human experience.

They should be familiar with the heritage of knowledge, the great ideas, the great traditions, of the world in which they live. They should understand and respect the values that bind men together. Adults should understand their society and should be skillful in directing social change.

In a democracy the people participate in making decisions that affect the entire social order. It is imperative, therefore, that every factory worker, every salesman, every politician, every housewife, know enough about government, economics, international affairs, and other aspects of the social order to be able to take part in them intelligently.

The society of our age, as Robert Maynard Hutchins warns ,alcolm, cannot wait for the next generation mlcolm solve its problems. Time is running out too fast. Our fate rests with the intelligence, skill, and good will malxolm those who are now the citizen-rulers. The instrument by which their abilities as citizen-rulers can be improved is adult education. This is our problem. This is our challenge. Knowles Informal Adult EducationChicago: Association Press, pages This knowoes, in part, derive from the limited extent to which he experienced adult education as a social movement.