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Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners in the structure of the learning experience. The term was originally used by Alexander Kapp (a German educator) in 1833, was developed into a theory of adult education by the American educator, Malcolm Knowles , (April 24, 1913 -- November 27, 1997).

Knowles held that andragogy (from the Greek words meaning "man-leading") should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: "child-leading").

Knowles' theory can be stated as four simple postulates:[1][2]

  1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept and Motivation to learn).
  2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities (Experience).
  3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life (Readiness to learn).
  4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation to learning).

The term has been used by some to allow a discussion of the difference between self directed and 'taught' education.[3]

[edit] References

  1. ^ (nd) Andragogy (M. Knowles) Theory into Practice website. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  2. ^ (nd) Andragogy Informal Education Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  3. ^ Hansman (2008) Adult Learning in Communities of Practice: Situating Theory in Practice

[edit] Further reading

  • Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., III, & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier
  • Thorpe, M., Edwards, R., & Hanson, A. (1993). Culture and processes of adult learning. Routledge.
  • Smith, M. K. (1996; 1999) 'Andragogy', in the Encyclopaedia of Informal Education.

[edit] See also

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