Adult Learners : The Adult Learner : Neglected No More

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Adult Learners 1

Characteristics of Adult Leaners
Roles and Characteristics Analysis

W. Shawn Bain

EAD 510
Professor Singleton, C.
October 27, 2015

Adult Learners 2


Malcolm Knowles pioneered the study of adult education. In Lee’s book, The adult learner: Neglected no more. Training. (Lee, 1998). The term Malcolm used to describe this form of study of adults is called androgyny. Some of the assumptions that Knowles studied were self-concept, experience, readiness to learn, orientation, and motivation to learning and relevance. Self-concepts refer to an individual who has moved from pedagogy to androgyny. Which mean, moving from an adolescent learner to an adult learner. In the pedagogy stage, learners are more extrinsic learners, having a teacher/ instructor tell you when, how, and what to learn then switches to intrinsic learning. The stage where the adult learner is at the stage of telling one’s self when, how, and what to learn, as long as it pertains to the expected outcome goals of said adult learner. Mostly these goals and outcomes are directly related to a job, relevance, and or personal improvement in life satisfaction and self. Knowles goes on to state that instead of being subject centered, the pedagogy learner, the adult learner becomes a problem centered learner, which he termed, orientation to learning. Knowles also discovered that during his research. Adults are motivated to learn, which translates to an internal

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