Malcolm Knowles

According to Malcolm Knowles there are four “distinct contexts” that motivates adults who want to learn. The four contexts are Practical, Personal, Experiential and Idealistic. First we’ll start with Practical. Practical motivation describes that the adult learner motivated their self by personal gain. The learner wants to learn something new but at the same time knowing it could be helpful now or later down the road. Personal context is when the learner has personal goals he/she wants to achieve.

Experiential context motivation is the time when you want to learn from your past mistakes and use the knowledge you gained for the future challenges the adult learner might encounter. The last learned motivation context is Idealistic. Idealistic motivation is when the learner wants to learn everything instead of one goal at a time. My choice of motivational context is experiential because when I was younger I was troubled. I would run away from home, hit my mom, curse at her, and hang out with the wrong crowd. You name it and I did it.

Eventually she sent me back to live with my dad because she couldn’t take it anymore. My dad disciplined me and taught me to respect my elders. Now that I’m an adult, my mother has no respect for me because of what I had done to her in the past. We don’t talk unless it’s at a family get together like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I remember when I was 15 years old, we lived in Washington State. I ran away for a month and was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing. When I went back to my mom’s, she told me to pack my bags that I was going to live with my dad.

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