Group of adult learners in a college room.

Malcolm Knowles’ Six Assumptions for Adult Learners | Andragogy

Group of adult learners in a college room.

If you teach learners over the age of 17 or 18, then you basically have adult learners on your hands. The tools and techniques used for teaching adult learners is referred to as andragogy.

According to educator Malcolm Knowles, there are 6 assumptions that you can hold in your mind while you are creating curriculum that is relevant and engaging for your adult learners. I’ve summarized these 6 assumptions here in this image:

malcolm knowles

For a more in-depth look, check out The Adult Learning Theory – Andragogy – of Malcolm Knowles by Christopher Pappas at E-Learning Industry.


  • Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.
  • Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Do these assumptions ring true to your experience? Do you implement any of them into your curriculum?

Share your responses by posting a comment below.

Rick Henderson is a university instructor with over 20 years experience teaching adult learners. He received his Masters on Education in 2020, and enjoys researching topics related to adult learning and creativity.

Posting Art To Society6

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I’ve tried my hand at designing t-shirts. I have a number of t-shirt designs available on under my brand called Double Dagger Tees, so I’m sort of part of the t-shirt design industry. It is a big help for training creative software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape as I have a bit of insight into business and design. I also have some items posted at Society6 as Double Dagger Studio.

One of the great things about Society6 is the range of products they offer for print-on-demand, although I recently read they specifically focus on home decor.

It’s essentially mid-august and many of us are already thinking about back-to-school… whether we’re teachers or parents! 🙂 So if you want to start the term of right, check out this great mug design by Becky Betancourt.

ColoredPencils Mug by beckybetancourt

Have you ever wanted to sell your own art, or maybe a product you came up with for helping other teachers? Let me know in the comments.