Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Expertise: Knowles’ Second Assumption Of Grownup Studying

Infographic illustrating the nature of experience, one of Malcolm Knowles’ assumptions about adult learners, which states that as a person matures, they accumulate a growing reservoir of life experiences that become a rich resource for learning.

Children largely maintain their self-identity through external definers – their family, friends and the community in which they live. Experience for them is something that happens to them, while adults draw on their accumulated life experiences as they continue to study.

Examples of how assumption can be used in learning settings are: case studies, problem-based learning, role play, field experiences, scenarios and simulations.

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