Sunday, January 4, 2009

Andragogy and Pedagogy, what's the Difference?

Recently I came across the term Andragogy which was used by Alexander Kapp in 1833 and which was adopted by Malcolm Knowles to designate "the art and science of teaching adults". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedagogy).
On most websites dealing with andragogy, I found that it should be distinguished from pedagogy, which relates to teaching children. The authors generally state that andragogy, in opposition to pedagogy, builds upon a different (!?) set of assumptions (four or five) about learning.

I must say, that I was astonished when I read what these assumptions are, and I thought, well, if, in the view of these authors, these assumptions differ from those of pedagogy, I wonder what strange concept of pedagogy these authors must have. And, I also wonder what concept of children, childhood and children's learning they must have. Below, I've quoted from five different websites. See for yourself, and try to find for each statement an opposite view that you would associate with pedagogy - meaning the art and science of teaching children. I just couldn't find any.

I don't question the rightness and the usefulness of those statements in general, but I question that there exists a concept of pedagogy that builds on the opposite assumptions, even if sometimes realities of teaching may suggest that there is one. At least, in my personal view, pedagogy and andragogy are not different. To state that there is a difference, is also to state that meaningfulness of learning applies to adults and not to children - which is absurd - nothing more nothing less.

From http://tip.psychology.org/knowles.html :
"(…) Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning: (1) Adults need to know why they need to learn something (2) Adults need to learn experientially, (3) Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and (4) Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. (…)"

From http://agelesslearner.com/intros/andragogy.html :
"(…) The andragogic model asserts that five issues be considered and addressed in formal learning. They include (1) letting learners know why something is important to learn, (2) showing learners how to direct themselves through information, and (3) relating the topic to the learners' experiences. In addition, (4) people will not learn until they are ready and motivated to learn. Often this (5) requires helping them overcome inhibitions, behaviors, and beliefs about learning. (…)"

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andragogy :
"(…) Knowles' theory can be stated as four simple postulates: 1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept and Motivation to learn). 2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities (Experience). 3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life (Readiness to learn). 4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation to learning). (…)"

From http://www.infed.org/lifelonglearning/b-andra.htm :
"(…) 1. Self-concept: As a person matures his self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being 2. Experience: As a person matures he accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning. 3. Readiness to learn. As a person matures his readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of his social roles. 4. Orientation to learning. As a person matures his time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly his orientation toward learning shifts from one of subject-centeredness to one of problem centredness. 5. Motivation to learn: As a person matures the motivation to learn is internal (Knowles 1984:12). (…)"

From http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2008/10/The-Institutional-Path-for-Change-in-This-Age-Andragogy-not-Pedagogy.aspx :
"(…) 1. Letting learners know why something is important to learn 2. Showing learners how to direct themselves through information 3. Relating the topic to the learners' experiences 4. People will not learn until they are ready and motivated to learn 5. Requires helping them overcome inhibitions, behaviors, and beliefs about learning (…)"

Some Reading Milestones

  • Towards reflexive method in archaeology : the example at Çatalhöyük (edited by Ian Hodder) 2000

  • The Book of Learning and Forgetting (Frank Smith) 1998

  • Points of Viewing Children's Thinking: A Digital Ethnographer's Journey (Ricki Goldman-Segall) 1997

  • Verstehen lehren (Martin Wagenschein) 1997

  • Computer im Schreibatelier (Gérard Gretsch) 1992

  • The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter. Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom (Vivian Gussin Paley) 1991

  • La cause des adolescents (Françoise Dolto) 1988

  • Scuola di Barbiana. Die Schülerschule. Brief an eine Lehrerin. (Edition of 1980) / read in German 1982
    Letter to Teacher by the Schoolboys of Barbiana (1970)
    Lettre à une maîtresse de'école, par les enfants de Barbiana (1968)
    Lettera à una professoressa (Original Edition) 1967


  • Vers une pédagogie institutionnelle (Aïda Vasquez, Fernand Oury) 1967



Documentary Films on Education

  • Eine Schule, die gelingt (by Reinhard Kahl) 2008

  • Les temps des enfants (Jacques Duez) 2007

  • Klassenleben (by Bernd Friedmann und Hubertus Siegert) 2006

  • Lernen - Die Entdeckung des Selbstverständlichen
    (Ein Vortrag von Manfred Spitzer) 2006

  • Die Entdeckung der frühen Jahre
    Die Initiative "McKinsey bildet" zur frühkindlichen Bildung (by Reinhard Kahl) 2006

  • Treibhäuser der Zukunft - Wie in Deutschland Schulen gelingen (by Reinhard Kahl) 2004

  • Treibhäuser der Zukunft / Incubators of the future / Les serres de l'avenir; International Edition (by Reinhard Kahl) 2004

  • Journal de classe, 1ères audaces (1), Les échappés (2), Sexe, amour et vidéo (3), L'enfant nomade (4), Remue-méninges (5) (by Wilbur Leguebe, Jacques Duez, Agnès Lejeune) 2004

  • Spitze - Schulen am Wendekreis der Pädagogik (by Reinhard Kahl) 2003

  • Journal de classe, (by Wilbur Leguebe and Agnès Lejeune; Jacques Duez) 2002

  • Etre et Avoir (by Nicolas Philibert) 2002

  • The Stolen Eye (by Jane Elliott) 2002

  • The Angry Eye (by Jane Elliott) 2001

  • A l'école de la providence (by Gérard Preszow) 2000

  • Blue-Eyed (by Jane Elliott) 1996

  • A Class Divided (by Jane Elliott) 1984

  • Eye of The Storm (with Jane Elliott) 1970

Past quotes of the day

For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong. Henry Louis Mencken

Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.
Antonio Machado

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Immanuel Kant

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein

To paraphrase a famous quotation, all that is necessary for the triumph of damaging educational policies is that good educators keep silent. Alfie Kohn

We used to have lots of questions to which there were no answers. Now, with the computer, there are lots of answers to which we haven't thought up the questions. Peter Ustinov

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. Woody Allen

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep. W. H. Auden

When I was an inspector of schools I visited one classroom and looked at a boys book. He'd written, 'Yesterday, Yesterday, Yesterday, Sorrow, Sorrow, Sorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Love, Love, Love.' I said, 'That's a lovely poem.' He said, 'Those are my spelling corrections.' Gervase Phinn

Real thinking never starts until the learner fails. Roger Schank

If what is wanted is a reexamination of schooling in terms of purpose, structure and process, then testing programmes are the wrong vehicle (...) Caroline V. Gipps

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein

Act always so as to increase the number of choices. Heinz von Foerster

Another way of avoiding teaching is by relying exclusively on a textbook, workbooks, and other commercially packaged learning materials. Teaching is reduced to administering a set curriculum without giving any thought to the substance of what the students area learning or to their particular needs. H. Kohl

The right to ignore anything that doesn't make sense is a crucial element of any child's learning - and the first right children are likely to lose when they get to the controlled learning environment of school. F. Smith

Learning is the human activity which least needs manipulation by others. Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful activity. - Ivan Illich

Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. - Roger Lewin

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

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