Malcolm Knowles, the father of “Andragogy,” revolutionized our understanding of adult learning by differentiating it from traditional childhood learning, or “Pedagogy.” Knowles proposed six adult learning principles, summarized here in less academic terms:
1. I Call the Shots: Adults prefer to take charge of their own learning journey.
2. Been There, Done That: Adults have a wealth of experience to draw from that influences how they absorb, understand, and apply new knowledge.
3. Real Stuff for Real Life: Adults want to learn things they can apply immediately within their everyday roles and responsibilities.
4. Doing Beats Studying: Adults prefer to learn by doing. They like instructions more than instruction.
5. Solutions, Not Subjects: Adults want to solve problems, not remember facts.
6. Inner Drive: Adults are intrinsically motivated to learn to feed their curiosity, address an issue, achieve better quality of life, and gain self-confidence.
With the power of Generative AI (artificial intelligence) to provide personalized, experience-rich, problemcentered, and self-motivated learning, we finally have a technology that can activate these adult learning principles—on a global scale and an individual level.
Let’s do a thought experiment. What if we created a Generative AI coaching platform whose objective function is to enable every adult on the planet to learn what they need to know to become their very best selves? Imagine an “AndrAIgogical Coach” that activates these learning principles for its unique adult learner by:
- Generating self-directed learning pathways tuned to the unique aspirations and needs of its adult learner.
- Contextualizing new knowledge within its learner’s existing experience base.
- Synthesizing learning into practical instructions to address the learner’s role- and task-based needs.
- Simulating real-world scenarios that enable its learner to practically apply new knowledge in a risk-free, trial-and-error-based environment.
- Presenting learning as problems to be solved instead of content to be memorized.
- Providing immediate feedback, progress tracking, and personalized encouragement to the learner.
This platform would operate as a personalized learning fulfillment service, enabling all 5 billion adults on this planet to realize their fullest potential and achieve their biggest and boldest dreams.
Who wouldn’t want that? Let’s make it happen!