How To Apply Malcolm Knowles' Theories In Training Work

2462 words - 10 pages

This essay is to consider and discuss how I might apply the theories of Malcolm Knowles, in my own current or future training work. The essay will include a brief biography on Malcolm Knowles, and his theory on adult education / learning andragogy, to include definitions of andragogy and pedagogy, which has been the mainstay of all education theory for hundreds of years.
The main body of the essay will discuss and differentiate andragogy from pedagogy, and how I might use Knowles’s theory in future training.

Malcolm Knowles Theory.
Malcolm Sheppard Knowles (aug 24th 1913- nov 27th 1997) was an American adult educator famous for the adoption of the adult learning theory andragogy , initially a term coined by the German teacher Alexander Kapp in 1833.
Knowles is credited with being a fundamental influence in the development of the humanist learning theory. During his illustrious career, he authored over 230 articles and 18 books.
Knowles collected ideas about a theory of adult education from the end of World War 2, when he was introduced to the term “androgogy”. In 1966, Knowles meet Dusan Savicevic in Boston, U.S.A. Savicevic shared the term androgogy with Knowles and explained how it was used in the European context. .In 1967, Knowles made use of the term “Androgogy” to explain his theory of adult education. Then after consulting Merriam-Webster he converted the spelling of the term androgoy to andragogy and continued to make use of the term to explain his collection of ideas about adult learning. (Sopher 2003).
For hundreds of years the traditional, most frequently implemented and trainer, centred approach to learning has been and still is pedagogy.
Knowles defines pedagogy as “the art and science of teaching children” (Knowles 1980)
Post World War 2, adult educators felt the pedagogical model was not suited to adult education or learning, and from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s, many teachers wrote reports of teaching adults deviating from the pedagogical philosophy. Books started to appear which analysed the reports and extracted principles from them, these were listings of principles and there was no attempt to develop a theory, following, in the 1960’s scientifically designed research started to focus on the internal processes of the adult. A new theoretical model was emerging and European adult educators felt the need for a label. They coined the label andragogy. Knowles then explained his adult learning theory using andragogy. This is now the backbone of the adult learning philosophy.
Knowles defines andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn” (Knowles 1980).

The two models, pedagogy and andragogy are currently the backbone of today’s modern teaching for children and adults, the theory of these models are based on assumptions.
Definition of assumptions:
“Statement accepted or supposed to be true without proof or demonstration” or “a minor premise “(Readers digest universal...

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