In 1980, Malcolm Shepherd Knowles (1913 – 1997) made 4 assumptions about the characteristics of adult learners (andragogy) that are different from the assumptions about child learners (pedagogy). In 1984, Knowles added the 5th assumption.
The motto of the Swiss School of Management is: “We Create Leaders”, therefore we couldn’t refrain to add a sixth assumption to be also applied on the educational programs for our students.
SSM students are matured so they have a more secure self-concept which allows them to take part in directing their own learning. As SSM students are adults and self-directed, they should have a say in the content and process of their learning. In SSM the feedback from students is particularly important, so during every course students are requested in form of questionnaire to provide feedback during and at end of each course about the quality of the course, learning contents, lecturer, organization of course etc.
2) Past Learning Experience
SSM students have important professional experiences to draw on as they learn. Because SSM students have so much experience to draw from, their learning in SSM is focused on adding to what they have already learned in the past.
3) Readiness to Learn
SSM students have reached a point in which they see the value of education and are ready to be serious about and focused on learning. At SSM innovative tools motivate students for readiness to learn. For example, online learning can benefit students for self-directive learning. SSM offers full flexibility to its students to complete its educational programs on-line, off-line or mix of both (blended or flex).
4) Practical Reasons to Learn
SSM students are looking for practical, problem-centered approaches to learning which is offered in SSM. Many SSM students decide to continue education for many practical reasons and discovering of new fields. As students are looking for practical learning, in SSM all learning contents are focused on issues related to students professional work or other personal expectations. In SSM learning is centered on solving problems instead of memorizing content.
5) Driven by Internal Motivation
In SSM students are not only governed by external reasons but also by internal motivations. Even if some areas of education is standard in globalized world in SSM students have possibilities to be specialized in many different areas as school enable students to choose various specializations.
6) The Application of Leadership Skills
At the end of their studies, SSM Students have the ability to communicate well, motivate their team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and have the flexibility to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace. Employers seek these skills in the candidates they hire for leadership roles.