Adults are learners. We don’t stop learning as we age. Yet, we learn differently then we might have in our youth. Thus, for those that want to see adults learn, change and grow in their thinking – might want to learn about Andragogy. Yes, Andragogy not Pedagogy. One might want to think of a continuum of learning for people as they navigate their lives and age in the real world. If you want to bring about change with teachers, administrators and/or school board members.
Adults need to be treated like adults. The word ‘pedagogy’ is not a word that describes adult learning. Pedagogy has it’s origins from the Greek paidagogia meaning “education attendance on children”. Thus, Pedagogy is about children learning and Andragogy is how we approach adults as learners.
In The Adult Learner (2011) the late Malcolm Knowles and others explain the theory of Andragogy as a conceptual basis for adult learning. They are a significant force in reorienting those that work with adults from ‘educating people’ to ‘helping people learn’. Here is what they know about how adults learn.
• Adults are autonomous and self-directed.
• Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge.
• Adults are goal oriented.
• Adults are relevancy oriented.
• Adults are practical.
• Adults need to be shown respect.
~ Malcolm Knowles, Richard Swanson, and Elwood Holton