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Malcolm Knowles

Explain how Knowles is relevant to the practice of university management education. What is missing from his theory? (250 words)

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1. Explain how Knowles is relevant to the practice of university management education.

Knowles is relevant to the practice of university management education. For example, Knowles (1980, as cited in St. Clarie, 2002) claimed that andragogy was "the art and science of teaching adults," and set out four key assumptions, which apply to the practice of university management education:

1. Teachers have a responsibility to help adults in the normal movement from dependency toward increasing self-directedness.
2. Adults have an ever-increasing reservoir of experience that is a rich resource for learning.
3. People are ready to learn something when it will help them to cope with real-life tasks or problems.
4. Learners see education as a means to develop increased competence
Two additional assumptions were later added (Knowles, Holton, and Swanson 1998):
5. Adults need to know the reason to learn something.
6. The most potent motivators for adult learning are internal, such as self-esteem (St. Claire, 2002).

Based on the theoretical assumptions above, Malcolm Knowles identified the following characteristics of adult learners that are very relevant to the practice of university management education, but perhaps watered down for formal education (see next question). It is aimed at people development through applying the principles to teaching strategies to meet the needs of the adult learners.

· Adults are autonomous and self-directed. They need to be free to direct themselves. Their teachers must actively involve adult participants in the learning process and serve as facilitators for them. Specifically, they must get participants' perspectives about what topics to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They should allow the participants to assume responsibility for presentations and group leadership. They have to be sure to act as facilitators, guiding participants to their own knowledge rather than supplying them with facts. Finally, they must show participants how the class will help them reach their goals (e.g., via a personal goals sheet).

· Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include ...

Solution Summary

This explains how Malcolm Knowles is relevant to the practice of university management education, as well as what is missing from his theory.

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