In the pedagogical model, the teacher has full responsibility for making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, when it will be learned, and if the material has been learned (Knowles, 1984).
Pedagogy, or teacher-directed instruction as it is commonly known, places the student in a submissive role requiring obedience to the teacher's instructions. It is based on the assumption that learners need to know only what the teacher teaches them. The result is a teaching and learning situation that actively promotes dependency on the instructor (Knowles, 1984).
Andragogy. A competing idea in terms of instructing adult learners, and one that gathered momentum within the past three decades, has been dubbed andragogy ("Individualizing" 2007). The growth and development of andragogy as an alternative model of instruction has helped to remedy this situation and improve the teaching of adults ("Individualizing" 2007).
The differing models. Andragogy as a system of ideas, concepts, and approaches to adult learning was introduced to adult educators in the United States by Malcolm Knowles (1975, 1980, 1984). The pedagogical model is a content model concerned with the transmitting of information and skills. For example, the teacher decides in advance what knowledge or skill needs to be transmitted, arranges this body of content into logical units, selects the most efficient means for transmitting this content (lectures, readings, lab exercises, films, tapes, for example), and then develops a plan for presenting these units in some sequence (Knowles 1973).
By contrast, the andragogical model is a process concerned with providing procedures and resources for helping learners acquire information and skills. In this model, the teacher (facilitator, change-agent, consultant) prepares a set of procedures for involving the learners in a process that includes (a) establishing a climate conducive to learning, (b) creating a mechanism for mutual planning, (c) diagnosing the needs of learning, (d) formulating program objectives (content) that will satisfy these needs, (e) designing a pattern of learning experiences, (f) conducting these learning experiences with suitable techniques and materials, and (g) evaluating the learning outcomes and re-diagnosing learning needs (Knowles 1973).
In order to further distinguish between the pedagogical and andragogical approaches to design and operate adult educational programs, Knowles (1973) compared his andragogical model of human resource development with that used by most traditional educators, which he called a pedagogical model.
The dissenters. Opponents to Knowles' concept preferred to view education as a single fundamental human process and felt that even though there were differences between children and adults, the learning activities of men and women were essentially the same as those of boys and girls. They rejected andragogy as an organizing principle in adult education and perceived it as a technique. Some of these were Houle (1972), London (1973) and Elias (1979) who questioned andragogy's theoretical status, general utility, and how it was different from