Fielding Graduate University News

First Malcolm Knowles Chair in Adult Learning Awarded

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Wed, Feb 03, 2010

Dr. Charles Seashore

Fielding Graduate University awarded the first Malcolm Knowles Chair in Adult Learning to Charles Seashore, PhD. Seashore resides in Columbia, MD, and is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Organization Development Network and SPSSI (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues). He been a faculty member in Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD) since 1985. He is a nationally recognized leader in organizational development, group process, and in the use of self in coaching and consulting. In 2004, Seashore received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organization Development Network (ODNet) in recognition of his accomplishments in these endeavors.

The Knowles endowment fund was initiated in 2005 to honor the work of Malcolm Knowles, PhD. Knowles was a founding HOD faculty member and a renowned scholar in the area of adult learning and social change. His application of the term "andragogy" to describe the learning styles of adults made a substantial contribution to student-centered education as well as to Fielding's innovative doctoral programs for mid-career professionals.

On January 12, 2010, HOD Dean Charles McClintock, PhD, presented the award to Seashore in Santa Barbara, CA, at an assembly of the school's students, faculty, and alumni from around the globe. In attendance was Knowles' daughter, Barbara Knowles Hartl of Orange, CA, who spoke about her father's long and appreciative association with Fielding. Also present was Fielding President Richard Meyers, PhD, who praised the spirit of those faculty, alumni, and friends of Malcolm Knowles who brought the endowment fund to fruition. "Their dedication to Knowles' scholarship and the extensive effort that went into making this concept a reality exemplifies the passion for transformative learning and scholarship I have found at Fielding," he said.

Going forward, Dr. Seashore will use the Chair funds to engage doctoral students in projects that embody the principles and honor the legacy of Malcolm Knowles. In receiving the award, Seashore pledged to work with students to complete video interviews with founders and prominent scholar-practitioners in the field of organization development.  He has included Miriam Lewin, herself a psychologist and daughter of Kurt Lewin, whose work profoundly influenced the fields of psychology and organizational change. In addition, the Knowles fund will support research on use of self and skills that maintain independence and maturity in adult learning.

Fielding Graduate University is a leading contributor of knowledge, practice, and graduate education in clinical psychology, media psychology, organizational development, and educational leadership. A nonprofit, accredited university, Fielding is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, where it was founded in 1974. Its distributed community of professionals is dedicated to social justice and diversity; transformational learning; and innovation and advancement in organizations, communities, and society. For further information visit

Tags: social justice, Organizational development, adult learning, graduate education