You did really well on the GMAT Reading Comprehension Inference question. These can be tough! Here’s the full explanation…
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.
The author implies that Malcolm Knowles
- A. lived in the 1950s
- B. taught adult education classes.
- C. believed that adults learned best when ordered by their employers to attend classes.
- D. designed adult education curricula that were flexible and informal.
- E. had a vast reservoir of varied experiences before entering the field of education.
In order to find a proper implication/inference based on this (or any GMAT) passage, you have to find what MUST be true, based on the passage, and eliminate everything else. Remember to ignore anything that might be true, or that you believe to be true base on outside knowledge, and stick to inferences that are supported directly by the passage.
Choice (A) is correct! The author independently says that the theory of andragogy emerged in the 1050s and that Knowles worked in this field. Although he does not directly state that Knowles lived during this period, the implication is very strong.
Choice (B) is not correct, as the author never said or implied that Knowles taught adult education classes, just that he developed theories about adult learners and classes.
Choice (C) uses both extreme language (“learned best“) and is a 180 (the opposite of what you’re looking for), since Knowles held that adult learning was internally motivated.
Choice (D) is beyond the scope—there is no reason to believe that Knowles designed curricula for adult education classes, as is choice (E)—since you have no information about Knowles’s background other than him being an educator.
Keep practicing to master GMAT Reading Comprehension, and as always, feel free to ask us any questions here in the comments, or via Facebook!