Tuesday, July 17, 2018    
   You are here : Students of PM


Theory of Adult Learning

Successful Projects deals exclusively with adult learners. This means we specialize in "andragogy" - learning strategies focused on adults.

Knowles' Theory regarding andragogy was developed by American educator Malcolm Knowles.  This theory asserts that adult learning should be distinguished from pedagogy (child-learning) based on the following assumptions:

  1. Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know)
  2. Experience including error provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation).
  3. Adults need to be responsibile for their decisions on education; involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept).
  4. Adults are most interested in learning subjects having immediate relevance to their work and/or personal lives (Readiness).
  5. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation).
  6. Adults respond better to internal versus external motivators (Motivation). This is why a self-directed approach is better for adults than 'taught' education.

Successful Projects has designed the Certificate in Project Management program and adult intelligent discovery learning activities based on these philosophies.



  • Knowles, M. (1975). Self-Directed Learning. Chicago. Follet.
  • Kowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (erd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.
  • Knowles, M. (1984). Andragogy in Action. San Franciscon: Jossey-Bass.
Copyright 2017 by Successful Projects