Is the idea of "andragogy" of any value?

Posted by Mark Childs and Angela. On the subject of contrasts and contradictions I was going to...

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Angela Lilley
29 April 2010

Posted by Mark Childs and Angela.

On the subject of contrasts and contradictions I was going to raise the issues I have with "andragogy" as an idea. Knowle's basic contention is that adult learners learn in a very different way from children and presumes that pedagogy specifically refers to education of children because of the peda+ root word. The basic concepts are that:

  • Adults need to know why they need to know something before they will put the time in to learn it
  • Adults need to be self-directing and want to take responsibility for their learning,
  • It is only at the point when they need to able to apply knowledge in real-life, that adults are ready to learn it
  • Adult learning is task-orientated (Whitton and Hollis, 2008; 223)

I would contest 1) that this typifies adults' learning and 2) that these don't apply to children when they are learning. The term seems to me to be one intended purely to create another buzzword and thereby another marketing opportunity.

Whitton, N.and Hollins, P. (2008) Collaborative virtual gaming worlds in higher education,ALT-J,16:3,221 — 229, accessed on 23 December 2008


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Rebecca Galley
1:20pm 6 October 2010 (Edited 10:11am 7 October 2010)

This is interesting - just stumbled across this. When I lectured in teacher training this term caused all kinds of confusion because it was understood by students as being the opposite of pedagogy (pedagogy for teaching children and andragogy for adults). Actually I think it is just another name for a constructivism. Also think you are right - we are all capable of learning in different ways.

Roxanne Flamand
9:13am 9 March 2017 (Edited 10:07am 10 March 2017)

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