Andragogy: An Adult Teaching Theory vs. A Foundational Framework for Learning

Pegagogy vs. Andragogy

From our PIDP 3250 forum discussions on the various “goggies”, ie.) pedagogy, andragogy, heutagogy, cybergogy, peeragogy, critical pedagogy, etc one aspect of our discussion stood out as the most interesting and important to me. The forum facilitator posed the following statement, “andragogy is not a theory of adult learning but a framework for good teaching, regardless of the demographic”, for us to reflect and share our insights on.

My personal belief is that if we educate our youth using the principles of andragogy, ie.) self-directed, autonomous learning, while making them active participants in the learning process, and do this from a young age then we will be more successful in encouraging the generations to follow in becoming lifelong learners. The earlier we start to develop these skills in our youth, the better the probability will be that they will be well versed in these skills by the time they enter into post-secondary education, therefore, the higher their chances will be for being successful in their educational endeavours.

While researching this notion I came across this great article that supports this theory. The following is a particularly interesting excerpt from the article that nicely summarizes my position on this discussion, that education needs to be looked at it a more holistic approach and that the demographic of learners must not be the only or primary consideration when educating individuals.

“As an alternative approach to the pedagogy-andragogy issue, Knudson (1980) proposed replacing both with the term humanagogy because it is pedagogy and andragogy combined. Unlike the separate terms of pedagogy and andragogy, humanagogy represents the differences as well as the similarities that exist between both adults and children as learning human beings. It approaches human learning as a matter of degree, not kind. Humanagogy might be likened to a “holistic” approach to adult education because it does not throw away what adult educators already know about the way children learn and what they know about the way adults learn; rather, it takes this knowledge and puts it in perspective. Knudson (1980) believed that ignoring the principles of pedagogy from adult education excludes our childhood experiences. He also believed that the concept of humanagogy takes into account the development of the whole human being from birth to death. In presenting the humanagogy approach, Knudson reminded educators that both the pedagogical and andragogical approaches have something to offer. “Like the Chinese symbol of yin and yang, they are at the same time opposites and complements and equally necessary” (p. 8).



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