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Andragogy - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: ADULT LEARNING 1 Adult Learning: The Concept of Andragogy Name Class Date Adult Learning: The Concept of Andragogy Introduction One of the aspects of learning that is recognized by educators is that children learn at different rates according to their age and that adults learn differently than children…
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Andragogy

Just as importantly, defining what makes an individual an adult has meaning when determining how they will perform when trying to learn. The seven steps to creating a learning planning for adults is called the progress model which means that solving problems is the focus of how learning is accomplished. The following paper will examine the assumptions that define andragogy and the meaning behind them as they support adult learning and the differences between adult and child level learning capacities. Andragogy The origins of andragogy can be traced back to a German educator in 1833 who used the term to define adult education from child education. Alexander Kapp created the term which specifically means man-leading, which is in contrast to the term pedagogy which means child-leading. In the 20th century American education theorists defined three different types of adult learning. The first is andragogy, the second is self directed learning, with the third being transformative. Andragogy is used as a description of adult learning as a concept in which the learner is motivated by a series of assumptions that end with the learner developing solution to problems in order to learn in the context that an adult learns best (Melik & Melik, 2010, p. 108). Defining andragogy is a bit difficult as it has been presented through a variety of different ideas and is therefore not quite a firm theory through which to filter ideas. Andragogy was originally presented with three assumptions. Some criticisms of the ideas behind andragogy is that it is focused on the individual and not a critical evaluation of the social perspective on adult learning. The concept of andragogy has been correctly criticized for not informing the social perspective, but Knowles suggests that it does not have to promote the social perspective in order to have value in developing a structure of ideas about adult learning. One of the main proponents of andragogy as a theory of learning for adults is Malcolm Knowles. Knowles introduced the idea in the 1970s in response to the fact that most theory on learning was focused on children (Utley, 2011, p. 32). He broke down the assumptions about the motivation for adult learning it six basic concepts. The following is a list of those concepts: 1. Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know) 2. Experience (including error) provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation). 3. Adults need to be responsible for their decisions on education; involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept). 4. Adults are most interested in learning subjects having immediate relevance to their work and/or personal lives (Readiness). 5. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation). 6. Adults respond better to internal versus external motivators (Motivation) (Pierson, 2011, p. 182). These six principles outline the motivations that adults need in order to create a meaningful learning experience. The development of andragogy was through recognition that adults learn very differently than children. This type of learning is problem solving oriented rather than based upon the idea of content based learning as is more often the situation with children. Andragogy begins with the notion that adulthood comes through a psychosocial perspective rather than through “a specific biological, social, legal, or chronological age group (Utley, 2011, p. ... Read More
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