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Adult Learning as Andragogy - Refine Your Thinking

by Todd Kasenberg

Too often, organizations use the inappropriate term "pedagogy" and apply this term to describe what is, in fact, adult learning. Just by a quick review of the word origins and constituents (from the Latin), we can see that the term is more correctly applied to the training of young people. Adult learning can be better described as andragogy - and there are a set of unique differences identified about the principles, assumptions and practices of andragogy that should be reflected in adult learning design/development. In this infographic, we take you more directly to an andragogy platform illustrated by experts, in which adult learning success is rooted in the following principles:

  1. Need to know
  2. Self concept
  3. Prior experience
  4. Readiness
  5. Orientation
  6. Motivation

Please review, and as appropriate to your circumstances, download your own copy of this useful infographic.

Note: We won't get wrapped up in the debate about the nuances of the specific platform called andragogy - as some academics have undertaken. Needless to say, there are lots of pros and cons about the Knowles platform, and scholars have expressed the faults with it. However, we do believe, fundamentally, that adults bring some extra "baggage" to learning - in large part owing to extra experience and a greater interest in "tools" and systems.


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