Though widely accepted, there have been debates about this theory’s classification. People have not been able to define this theory according to its work (is it an adult learning theory, a teaching theory, a philosophical theory or all of these) because it may serve different purposes. Adult learning process is a bit different from child education, and it would encompass issues such as the purpose of learning. This process would also require that those being taught choose how they want the process to be done. This would not be the case when dealing with school going children. This write up looks on how adult learning is done in the 21st century (Knowles, 1980).
Knowles defines andragogy as “the art and science of teaching adults.” In his efforts to work on this theory, he gave four assumptions upon which adult learning would be based. According to Knowles, adult learning is based on the following assumptions. The first assumption is that teachers are responsible for helping adults to move from reliance and become independent. The other assumption is that learners are believed to see education as a way to increase their competence. Thirdly, Knowles makes an assumption that learners will be willing to learn to aim that the knowledge attained would enable them solve real-life problems. The other assumption is that adults have are experienced, and this would facilitate the learning process. Later, Knowles together with Holton and Swanson added two assumptions on adult learning. The first one was that adults knew the reason that made them learn at that age. The final assumption in this area is that self esteem is a motivator for adult education.
One concept in this theory is that adult learning has been compared to a contract that requires at least two parties. The teacher and the learner negotiate on the outcome of the learning process that is yet to be implemented. Negotiations on how the outcome will be achieved ...Show more