Knowles was convinced that adults learned differently to children - and that this provided the basis for a distinctive field of enquiry. His earlier work on informal adult education had highlighted some elements of process and setting. Similarly, his charting of the development of the adult education movement in the United States had helped him to come to some conclusions about the shape and direction of adult education. What he now needed to do was to bring together these elements. The mechanism he used was the notion of andragogy.