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The methods and practices used in teaching adults.

The methods and practices used in teaching, especially of children.


independent, self-directed, and/or cooperative learning among adults.

On a teacher's methods of transferring knowledge to a student, who is

dependent on the teacher's methods and understanding.


Adults have control over much of their learning experience and must be
motivated to learn. Can often seek out new or different learning experience, at

Teacher controls the learning experience for children, and much of what is
taught is based on rigid curricula.

Importance of Grades

May be very low


Pedagogy and Andragogy Origins

The word "pedagogy" is much older than the word
"andragogy." Pedagogy, as a word, first appeared in the mid- to late-
1500s, in Middle French, and has roots in Latin and Greek. It literally
meant "to guide or teach a child."[1] Today, it often simply refers to the
art of teaching.[2]
Andragogy, which refers to "methods or techniques used to teach
adults," is a newer word that was coined in the 1800s by Alexander
Knapp, a German educator, and popularized in the 1960s by Malcolm
Knowles, an American educator whose focus was on adult education.
Andragogy is the antonym of pedagogy. In pedagogy, the concern is with transmitting the
content, while in andragogy, the concern is with facilitating the acquisition of the content.
Andragogy is a theory developed by Knowles (1913-97) which differentiates the needs of
adult learners from those of juveniles and uses the term andragogy to describe the specific
methods which should be employed in the education of adults.

The adult learner moves towards independence and is self-directing. The teacher
encourages and nurtures this movement.
The learner's experience is a rich resource for learning. Hence teaching methods
include discussion, problem-solving etc.
People learn what they need to know, so that learning programs are organized around
life application.
Learning experiences should be based around experiences, since people are
performance centered in their learning.

Andragogy requires that adult learners be involved in the identification of their learning needs
and the planning of how those needs are satisfied. Learning should be an active rather than a
passive process. Adult learning is most effective when concerned with solving problems that
have relevance to the learner's everyday experience.

Knowles (1968) popularized this European concept over thirty years ago. Andragogy,
(andr - 'man'), contrasted with pedagogy, means "the art and science of helping adults
learn" (Knowles, 1980, p. 43). Knowles labeled andragogy as an emerging technology
which facilitates the development and implementation of learning activities for adults.
This emerging technology is based on six andragogical assumptions of the adult learner:

1. Need to Know: Adults need to know the reason for learning.

2. Experience: Adults draw upon their experiences to aid their learning.
3. Self Concept: Adult needs to be responsible for their decisions on education,
involvement in planning and evaluation of their instruction.
4. Readiness: The learning readiness of adults is closely related to the assumption
of new social roles.
5. Orientation: As a person learns new knowledge, he or she wants to apply it
immediately in problem solving.
6. Motivation (Later added): As a person matures, he or she receives their
motivation to learn from internal factors.

These six assumptions dovetail with the thoughts and theories of others. Merriam and
Caffarella (1999) point to three keys to transformational learning: experience, critical
reflection and development. The aspect of experience (the second assumption to
andragogy) seems like an important consideration in creating an effective learning
opportunity for adults. The learning opportunity needs to be relevant and applicable to a
persons set of experiences. Argote, McEvily, and Reagans (2003) point to experience
as an important factor in ones ability to create, retain and transfer knowledge.

Critical reflection is the second key to transformational learning and part of andragogys
self-directed learning. Reflection/think time is yet another essential principle to creating
an effective learning experience for adults. Garvin (1993) shares the importance of
fostering an environment that is conducive to learning including time for reflection and
analysis. Adult learners need time to contemplate the ramifications of the learning
experience to their experience and responsibilities.

The third key to transformational learning is development (corresponding to the third

assumption of andragogy). Merriam and Caffarella state that the ability to think critically,
which is mandatory to effecting a transformation, is itself developmental (p. 330). If
development is the outcome of transformational learning, then an effective adult learning
opportunity needs to be created that will take personal development into consideration

Andragogy assumes the following about the design of learning:

1. Adults have the need to know why they are learning something.
2. Adults learn through doing.
3. Adults are problem-solvers.
4. Adults learn best when the subject is of immediate use.

According to Knowles ( 1984, Appendix D) an example used to apply the principles to

personal computer training:

1. Explain why certain skills are taught (functions, commands).

2. Task oriented instead of memorizing. Tasks should be common tasks .
3. Take diversity into play. Acknowledge different learning levels and
4. Allow adults to learn on their own and from their mistakes. ( M.Knowles)