You’ve analyzed a GMAT Reading Comprehension passage, and now you can use that analysis to efficiently work through GMAT questions and gain points more quickly and reliably. Again, here’s the passage with topic, scope, purpose, and passage map:
The 1950s saw the emergence of the theory of andragogy, the process by which adults learn (as distinct from pedagogy, the theory of children’s learning processes). Educator Malcolm Knowles held that flexibility, informality, enthusiasm, and commitment from both student and teacher, as well as the ability to build upon extant knowledge, were all necessary aspects of adult education classes.
Knowles’s beliefs about adult learning had their roots in five assumptions. First, adults are self-directed, independent beings. Next, adults have a reservoir of experiences on which to build, which children lack. Third, they are ready to learn skills necessary for their social roles. Fourth, adults learn as a way of solving problems, since their application of learned concepts is immediate. Finally, adults’ motivation to learn comes from within.
TOPIC: Knowles’s theory of and assumptions about andragogy
SCOPE: The characteristics of adult learners
PURPOSE: To explain Knowles’s views of the characteristics of adult learners.
Paragraph 1: Knowles’s views re: the characteristics of adult education classes.
Paragraph 2: Knowles’s beliefs—5 assumptions—about the characteristics of adult learners.
Now, let’s try some questions:
1. The author distinguishes between andragogy and pedagogy (paragraph 1) for what purpose?
- A. To illustrate that the two are essentially the same.
- B. To describe Knowles’s own background as a schoolteacher who later pioneered adult education.
- C. To explain the importance of understanding the differences between how children learn and how adults learn.
- D. To illustrate the failings of adult education classes.
- E. To build an understanding of an unfamiliar concept by contrasting it with a more familiar tone.
2. Knowles most probably agrees with which of the following statements?
- A. Children receive their motivation from external sources, rather than from within.
- B. Educating children is the most important function of society.
- C. Adult learners are comfortable learning abstract ideas.
- D. Adult education is the most logical response to society’s changing needs.
- E. Adults are essentially unable to learn new ideas or skills.
Use the topic, scope, and purpose notes and passage map to guide you. Post your answers here in the comments or on Facebook, and we’ll share the answer explanations later this week.