Malcolm S. Knowles. “The Accidental Andragogue”. Ron Eicher CAE 213 March 17, 2012. Malcolm Knowles. A Biographical Journey : Key individuals and events in the life of Malcolm S. Knowles. Malcolm Knowles. A biographical journey…. Born 1913; grew up in Missoula, Montana Good parents
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Malcolm S. Knowles “The Accidental Andragogue” Ron Eicher CAE 213 March 17, 2012
Malcolm Knowles A Biographical Journey: Key individuals and events in the life of Malcolm S. Knowles
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • Born 1913; grew up in Missoula, Montana • Good parents • Studied at Harvard • Intended to work for the Foreign Service • Met his wife (Hulda) at Harvard Cyril O .Houle Hulda?
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • 1934: graduated from Harvard • Enrolled in Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy • Applied for job with State Department • Three year wait for entry. • Married in 1935; needed job • Joined the new National Youth Administration (NYA) NYA parade float
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • Met Eduard Lindeman (supervised NYA training program) • Mentored by Lindeman • Knowles: “The thing I remember most vividly about this first encounter was the intensity with which Lindeman listened to me; his facial expression and eyes were a classic study in concentration” (MAE 8). Eduard Lindeman
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • 1943: Drafted into the Navy • Read widely about adult education • 1946: Left navy and pursued master’s at the University of Chicago • Took job at Central Chicago YMCA: Director of Adult Education Carl Rogers
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • Early in master's program attended a seminar about group counseling “It was exhilarating. I began to sense what it means to get ‘turned on’ to learning. I began to think about what it means to be a facilitator of learning rather than a teacher” (MAE 14).
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • Worked at YMCA full-time (1946- 1960) • 1949: earned master’s • 1950: Published first book (thesis) Informal Adult Education • Executive Director of Adult Education Association (AEA) • 1960: earned Ph. D. • Launched graduate program in AE at Boston University • Nearly resigned after first year
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • Spent 14 years in Boston • Produced two key texts during this time: • The Modern Practice of Adult Education (1970) • The Adult Learner (1973)
Malcolm Knowles A biographical journey… • 1974: Moved to North Carolina State University • Established graduate AE program and taught his favorite courses “totally on the andragogical model” (21). • Retired from NC State in 1979
Malcolm Knowles August 24, 1913-November 27, 1997 “As an Andagogue, he educated with his whole being. He touched my soul.” (Henshcke 3)
Socio-cultural Context 1930’s and 40’s • Knowles graduated from Harvard in 1934 during the Great Depression • World War II • GI Bill • 49% of all college students were veterans in 1947 (gibill.com)
Socio-cultural Context 1950’s • The “Golden Age” • Korean War • Space Race • Color TV, Disneyland, Elvis, Everest and…!
Contribution to Adult Learning • Popularized self-directed learning (andragogy) • Major influence on the development of adult education theory in USA • Development of NYA and YMCA training programs • Development of AE graduate programs (Boston Univ., NC State) • Executive director of Adult Education Association (AEA) • Authored key texts: • Informal Adult Education • The Modern Practice of Adult Education, • The Adult Learner
“Whatagogy?” Knowles’ commitment to life-long learning • Principles of Adult Teaching (1948): • The students should understand and subscribe to the purposes of the course. • The students should want to learn. • There should be a friendly and informal climate in the learning situation. • Physical conditions should be favorable. • The students should participate and should accept some responsibility for the learning process. • Learning should be related to and should make use of the students’ experience. • The teacher should know his subject matter • The teacher should be enthusiastic about his subject and about teaching it . • Students should be able to learn at their own pace.
“Whatagogy?” Knowles’ commitment to life-long learning • Principles of Adult Teaching (1948): • The student should be aware of his own progress and should have a sense of accomplishment. • The methods of instruction should be varied. • The teacher should have a sense of growth. • The teacher should have a flexible plan for the course (MAE 75,76). • “I had not yet arrived at a coherent and comprehensive theory of adult learning” (MAE 76). • 1967: Knowles is introduced to the term “andragogy” (MAE 78).
“Whatagogy?” Knowles’ commitment to life-long learning • (Knowles, 1989): “I have been busier since I retired than I ever was while holding a full-time job, but it has been a period of expansive growth. I have met hundreds of able, smart, and nice people all over the country and the world, and I have learned more from them than they have from me” (24).
Relating Knowles to CAE 213 Material • Knowles’ ideas are why courses like this one exist. • Self-directed, participatory learning (e.g.- this presentation!) • Learning contracts • On a larger scale: • Cooperative Extension • TEE • HRD • YMCA • Peace Corps
”I am not OK; and you are not OK; but Jesus can fix us both!” (WHH?)
References Corbett, Steve and Brian Fikkert. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself. Chicago: Moody P., 2009. Print. Henschke, J. A. "Reflections on Experiences of Learning with Malcolm Shepherd Knowles," New Horizons Online Journal in Adult Education and Human Resources Development, Vol. 22: No.3 I 4, Pp. 44-52, SulFa 2008. Kness, Ron. “60 Dollars and a Train Ticket Home: Looking Back at Veteran Education Benefits.” Gibill. 29 July, 2010. Web. 15 April, 2012. Knowles, Malcolm. The Making of an Adult Educator: An Autobiographical Journey. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass P. , 1989. Print.