Andragogy and Self-Directed Learning Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

Androgogy & Self-Directed Learning

Historically, the term andragogy was a long-time reaching the common vernacular. The term was a wildcard, meaning different things to different individuals and groups according to whim, nacent theory, or flowery rhetoric. When the term did crop up, it was associated with attributes that were sometimes difficult to pin down, but hinted at constructs such as self-reflection and life experiences (Reischmann, 2007). Always, as the term was used, there was a cleaving between education and training, as education was seen as serving the inner self rather than simply preparing for the world of work (Reischmann, 2007). Andragogy was raised to higher levels than could be captured in the dyad of mere teaching and learning


What exactly is andragogy? The term andragogy is used today to label an academic discipline -- it pertains to the scholarly study of in a field or discipline, while the actual practice to which andragogy refers is called adult education (Reischmann, 2007). Although the two are naturally related, distinguishing between practice and theory is important and useful in any discipline. Andragogy is an expansive term that encompasses life-long adult learning. Reischmann (2000) refers to the concept of "life-wide learning" of adults in order to include many forms of adult learning in the category. Learning that occurs over the course of an individual's life span is represented by the term life-long learning, while life-wide learning covers all the sorts of learning that occurs in institutionalized settings, and also learning that is self-directed (Reischmann, 2007).

Button, button -- Who's got andragogy? A German grammar school teacher named Alexander Kapp coined the term andragogy in 1833. It was picked up by a German social scientist named Eugen Rosenstock in 1921. Then, in 1957, after years of neglect, a German teacher named Franz Poggeler published Introduction into Andragogy: Basic Issues in Adult Education. With the publication and dissemination of Poggeler's book, the term spread from Germany to Austria, Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands. Regardless, within North America, no view of teaching adults is more widely known, or more enthusiastically embraced, than Knowles' description of andragogy" (Pratt & Associates, 1998, p. 13). Knowles simplified the concept of andragogy while still retaining its more ethereal attributes, calling it "the art and science of helping adults learn" (Knowles, 1989). There are two pillars to Knowles construction of andragogy: One is that learners are both autonomous and self-directed, and the other is that the function of teachers is not to present content but to facilitate learning (Pratt & Associates, 1998, p. 12). The emphasis of Knowles construct was on the choices made by self-directed learners rather than the control exerted by content experts.

A rose by any other name. At the time of Knowles writings -- the 1970s and the 1980s -- the benefits of formal education were being questioned and alternatives were proliferating. Formal education had burgeoned into an enormous industry over many decades since the first normal school was established in 1839 in Boston, Massachusetts. Humanistic theories dominated psychology and education. The deschooling movement put forth by Ivan Illich and Everett Reimer, John Holt's unschooling, and even Carl Rogers' person-centered therapy questioned traditional approaches to education and self-reflection. Paulo Freire elevated critical theory with the construct of conscientizacao and adult education initiative in Portugal. Conscientizacao refers to developmental process that ends in critical social consciousness, but to get to that sophisticated and objective perspective, and individual must intellectually move away from magical thinking and a naive orientation to life grounded in one's point-of-view as a member of his or her culture and society.

An American named Malcolm Knowles popularized the term andragogy in the U.S. By publishing an article in 1968 entitled "Androgogy, Not Pedagogy." Knowles' construct fell on fertile ground. Pedagogy had become a pejorative term, and adult educators were eager to separate themselves from the notion of teachers as pedantic pedagogues. Knowles construct provided an organizing theory and identity to the disparate members of the field of adult education. Not only was ideological structure needed, but adult educators were seeking validation in the field of education, which was increasingly spurning them. The andragogy movement was swept up by the mushrooming adult education business, and suddenly colleges and universities were offering courses and majors in adult education. Cooper & Henschke (2003) argue that Knowles increased scholarly access to adult education by theorizing, researching, publishing, and educating students who then became…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Andragogy And Self-Directed Learning" (2011, October 23) Retrieved December 2, 2016, from

"Andragogy And Self-Directed Learning" 23 October 2011. Web.2 December. 2016. <>

"Andragogy And Self-Directed Learning", 23 October 2011, Accessed.2 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Self Directed Learning and Andragogy Self Directed

    Section II: Andragogy Malcolm Knowles describes four assumptions of andragogy Discuss those four assumptions and the implications for the design, implementation, and evaluation of learning activities with adults. 1st assumption- As a person matures, his or her self-concept moves from that of a dependent personality toward one of a self-directing human being There is often a greater need amongst adults to see the relevance of what is learned in the classroom to their 'real

  • Self Directed Learning Assumptions Andragogy Self Directed Learning...

    Self-Directed Learning Assumptions, Andragogy Self-Directed Learning Assumptions Andragogy Self-Directed Learning What do you think about self-directed learning in what and how we learn? Self-directed learning is extremely beneficial in situations in which the learning styles of the individuals present differ from one another and would benefit from a more direct approach. For instance, self-directed learning allows individuals to frame their learning experience in a manner that is most compatible with his or her own

  • Self Directed Learning and the Assumption of Andragogy

    Education -- Self-Directed Learning Issue Section I-Self-Directed Learning: (1) What is the connection between self-directed learning in what and how we learn? According to Knowles, self-directed learners typically learn more broadly (i.e. they learn more things); they learn more effectively; they bring a higher level of motivation to learn; and they tend to retain and apply what they learn more than do people who learn through more formal or traditional means. In the

  • Graduate Certificate Nursing Education Learning of Anorexia

    Graduate Certificate Nursing Education Learning of Anorexia Nervosa & Handling Its Patients Final Learning Report DESCRIPTION OF OBJECTIVES & THEIR STATUS Drafting a learning contract and adhering to it along with constant support from my supervisor, was an effective activity which constituted of four weeks. every objective had a milestone plan and necessary measures which were required to be taken for achieving them. Self-expectation after reaching these goals was also documented in order to

  • Pedagogy and Andragogy in General Pedagogy and

    Pedagogy and Andragogy In general, pedagogy and andragogy are both forms of learning and education. However, based from the origin of the two terms, pedagogy and andragogy differs in the field of study that each covers. As it was defined and considered by some philosophers, pedagogy and andragogy differs in terms of the age of the learners and in terms of the methods of learning and teaching required. According to Knowles, as

  • Adult Learning Andragogy Adult Learning as a

    Adult Learning: Andragogy Adult learning as a concept was first introduced in Europe in the 50s (QOTFC, 2007). But it was in the 70s when American practitioner and theorist of adult education Malcolm Knowles formulated the theory and model he called andragogy. He defined andragogy as "the art and science of helping adults learn (Zmeryov, 1998 & Fidishun, 2000 as qtd in QOTFC)." It consists of assumptions on how adults

  • Similarities and Differences Between Pedagogical and Andragogical...

    Pedagogical and Andragogical Learning Approaches in Adult Learners There are a number of fundamental differences between pedagogical and andragogical approaches to both instruction and learning. However, the principle point of distinction between the two is this: the former is designed for young learners (Miemstra and Sisco, 1990) and for those who have a circumscribed amount of information and life experience to bring to a particular subject, whereas the latter is

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved