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Applying the 6 Key Adult Learning Principles to Yourself

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It’s been years since Malcolm Knowles, considered by many to be the “father of adult learning,” articulated a set of six principles – or “assumptions,” as he put it – about how adults tend to learn differently from children. While anyone who is serious about creating and facilitating effective adult learning experiences should already be familiar with these principles, I’m willing to bet that the average adult learner, to whom they apply, has never heard of either Knowles or his assumptions. I think it is worth knowing them, though, as a way to become more conscious of and deliberate in your own learning efforts.

So, in this post I offer an overview of Knowles’ six adult learning principles reframed for use by lifelong learners.

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