Andragogy, pronounced an-druh-goh-jee, or -goj-ee, is the process of helping adults learn. The word comes from the Greek andr, meaning man, and agogus, meaning leader.
While pedagogy refers to the teaching of children, where the teacher is the focal point, andragogy shifts the focus from the teacher to the learner. Adults learn best when they have control over their learning.
The first known use of the term andragogy was by the German educator Alexander Kapp in 1833 in his book, Platon’s Erziehungslehre (Plato’s Educational Ideas).
The term he used was andragogik. It didn't catch on and largely disappeared from usage until Malcolm Knowles made it widely known in the 1970s. Knowles, a pioneer and advocate of adult education, wrote more than 200 articles and books on adult education. He espoused five principles that he observed about adult learning at its best:
1. Adults understand why something is important to know or do.
2. They have the freedom to learn in their own way.
3. Learning is experiential.
4. The time is right for them to learn.
5. The process is positive and encouraging.
Principle 1: Make Sure Your Adult Students Understand “Why”
Most adult students are in your classroom because they want to be. Some of them are there because they have Continuing Education requirements to keep a certificate current, but most are there because they’ve chosen to learn something new.
This principle is not about why your students are in your classroom, but about why each thing you teach them is an important part of the learning.
Principle 2: Respect that Your Students Have Different Learning Styles
There are three general learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Visual learners rely on pictures. They love graphs, diagrams, and illustrations. “Show me,” is their motto. They often sit in the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions and to watch you, the teacher.
They want to know what the subject looks like. You can best communicate with them by providing handouts, writing on the white board, and using phrases like, “Do you see how this works?”
Auditory learners listen carefully to all sounds associated with the learning. “Tell me,” is their motto. They will pay close attention to the sound of your voice and all of its subtle messages, and they will actively participate in discussions. You can best communicate with them by speaking clearly, asking questions, and using phrases like, “How does that sound to you?”
Tactile or kinesthetic learners need to physically do something to understand it. Their motto is “Let me do it.” They trust their feelings and emotions about what they’re learning and how you’re teaching it. They want to actually touch what they’re learning. They are the ones who will get up and help you with role playing. You can best communicate with them by involving volunteers, allowing them to practice what they’re learning, and using phrases like, “How do you feel about that?”
Most people use all three styles while they’re learning, and of course, this is logical since we all have five senses, barring any disabilities, but one style almost always is preferred.
The big question is, “How do you, as the teacher, know which student has which learning style?” Without training in neuro-linguistics, it might be difficult, but conducting a short learning style assessment at the beginning of your class would benefit you and the students. This information is as valuable to the student as it is to you.
Principle 3: Allow Your Students to Experience What They’re Learning
Experience can take many forms. Any activity that gets your students involved makes the learning experiential. This includes small group discussions, experiments, role playing, skits, building something at their table or desk, writing or drawing something specific – activity of any kind. Activities also keep people energized, especially activities that involve getting up and moving about.
The other aspect of this principle is honoring the life experiences your students bring to the classroom. Be sure to tap into that wealth of wisdom whenever it’s appropriate. You’ll have to be a good timekeeper because people can talk for hours when asked for personal experiences, but the extra facilitation needed will be well worth the gems your students have to share.

Principle 4: When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Appears
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears” is a Buddhist proverb packed with wisdom. No matter how hard a teacher tries, if the student isn’t ready to learn, chances are good he or she won’t. What does this mean for you as a teacher of adults? Luckily, your students are in your classroom because they want to be. They’ve already determined that the time is right.
It’s your job to listen carefully for teaching moments and take advantage of them. When a student says or does something that triggers a topic on your agenda, be flexible and teach it right then. If that would wreak havoc on your schedule, which is often the case, teach a bit about it rather than saying flat out that they’ll have to wait until later in the program
By then, you may have lost their interest.

Principle 5: Encourage Your Adult Students
For most adults, being out of the classroom for even a few years can make going back to school intimidating. If they haven’t taken a class in decades, it’s understandable that they would have some degree of apprehension about what it will be like and how well they’ll do.
It can be tough to be a rookie when you’ve been an expert in your field for many, many years. Nobody enjoys feeling foolish.
Your job as a teacher of adult students includes being positive and encouraging. Patience helps too. Give your older students time to respond when you ask a question. They may need a few moments to consider their answer.
Recognize the contributions they make, even when small. Give them words of encouragement whenever the opportunity arises. Most adults will rise to your expectations if you’re clear about them.
A word of caution here. Being positive and encouraging is not the same as being condescending. Always remember that your students are adults. Speaking to them in the tone of voice you might use with a child is offensive, and the damage can be very difficult to overcome. Genuine encouragement from one person to another, regardless of age, is a wonderful point of human interaction.
Because of Marilyn’s understanding of how to teach me, her adult student, the art of making dill pickles, I now have the confidence to make them in my own kitchen, and I can’t wait for my next batch of cucumbers to be ready.
This is your challenge as a teacher of adults. Beyond teaching your subject, you have the opportunity to inspire confidence and passion in another human being. That kind of teaching changes lives.



Knowles is also famous for encouraging the informal education of adults. He understood that many of our social problems stem from human relations and can be solved only through education–in the home, on the job, and anywhere else people gather. He wanted people to learn to cooperate with each other, believing this was the foundation of democracy.
In his book, Informal Adult Education, Malcolm Knowles wrote that he believed andragogy should produce the following outcomes:
1. Adults should acquire a mature understanding of themselves — they should accept and respect themselves and always strive to become better.
2. Adults should develop an attitude of acceptance, love, and respect toward others — they should learn to challenge ideas without threatening people.
3. Adults should develop a dynamic attitude toward life — they should accept that they are always changing and look at every experience as an opportunity to learn.
1. Adults should learn to react to the causes, not the symptoms, of behavior — solutions to problems lie in their causes, not their symptoms.
2. Adults should acquire the skills necessary to achieve the potentials of their personalities — every person is capable of contributing to society and has an obligation to develop his own individual talents.
3. Adults should understand the essential values in the capital of human experience — they should understand the great ideas and traditions of history and realize that these are what bind people together.
4. Adults should understand their society and should be skillful in directing social change — "In a democracy, the people participate in making decisions that affect the entire social order. It is imperative, therefore, that every factory worker, every salesman, every politician, every housewife, know enough about government, economics, international affairs, and other aspects of social order to be able to take part in them intelligently."
That's a tall order. It is clear that the teacher of adults has a far different job than the teacher of children. That's what andragogy is all about.


Последнее изменение: Среда, 24 Октябрь 2018, 17:05