Adult Learning Theory Essay

Adult Learning Theory Essay

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ADULT LEARNING THEORY 2 Adult Learning Theory Malcolm Knowles Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997) was a key figure in America’s adult education in the second half of the twentieth century (Smith, 2002). Early Life “Born in 1913 and initially raised in Montana,” Knowles seems 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” (Smith, 2002, para. 2). His mother also played a critical role in his character building. During his campaign for the scouting prize, he developed a technique that would help him compete successfully (Smith, 2002), which he always thanked his mother for. In 1930, He entered Harvard University with scholarship, where he spent four dynamic years. Although job opportunities were extremely scarce, he still managed to find a job in Phillips Brooks House at Harvard (National Louis University [NLU], 2005), “a university organization dedicated to social work” (NLU, 2005, para. 7); he also volunteered to participate in many activities with immigrants at Boston's Lincoln House Settlement (NLU, 2005). In addition, he accumulated experiences in communicating with youth groups and counseling for immigrant Italian families. He was even elected President in Harvard's Liberal Club (NLU, 2005). He was soon found to be caught up in the Depression; however, he was not defeated by either the delivery job for the New York Times in the Cambridge area, or the errands he ran as a water boy for the Harvard football team (Smith, 2002). With the desire to work in the field of education, Knowles managed to get a job in new National Youth Administration in Massachusetts, where he was involved in “finding out what skills local em...


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.... (1987). ‘Malcolm Knowles’ in P. Jarvis (Ed.) Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult Education. London: Croom Helm. Kearsley, G. (2011). The theory into practice database. Retrieved from http://tip.psychology.org Knowles, M. S., et al. (1984). Andragogy in action: Applying modern principles of adult education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Knowles, M. S. (1989). The making of an adult educator: An autobiographical journey. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Merriam, S. B. (2001). Andragogy and self-directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 89, 3-13. National Louis University. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.nl.edu/academics/cas/ace/resources/malcolmknowles.cfm Smith, M. K. (2002). Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy. Retrieved from www.infed.org/thinkers/et-knowl.htm


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