Knowles Adult Learning Theory

Knowles Adult Learning Theory has six assumptions about adult learners. These assumptions are:

  1. Adults need to know why they need to learn something.
  2. As people mature, their self-concept moves from one of being dependent toward one of being self-directed.
  3. As people mature, they accumulate a large amount of experience that can serve as a rich resource for learning.
  4. Real-life problems or situations create a readiness to learn in the adult.
  5. As a person matures his or her time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application.
  6. Adults are primarily motivated by a desire to solve immediate and practical problems. As a person, matures, motivation to learn is stimulated by internal stimuli rather than external stimuli (McEwen and Wills, Theoretical Basis for Nursing, 2006, p. 399).