According to Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, (2007), andragogy is a European concept meaning “the art and science of helping adults learn”. (p. 84) It is based on six of different assumptions about the adult learner (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84). Andragogy is important for not only the adult learner, but the adult educator as well. It is important to adult educators because it helps them with setting a proper climate for their students, helps get the students more involved in their own specific needs from particular classes, and it gives the student and teacher mutual respect (Wood, unknown). By having mutual respect in a teacher/student relationship, it helps students the support they need to be a productive student. When working with adult learners, having mutual respect between teacher and learner and having the proper climate can contribute to more interaction when giving a presentation on subjects that may not be very interesting.
Traditional Learning Context
Every year MidMichigan Health holds a lecture for their employees called First Training. The training is done in a conference room at the hospital and is always cold and poorly lit. The speaker differs every year, but this year it was a nursing manager. First Training is a way for staff to freshen up on their communication skill; not only with patients, but with other staff. The audience that attends first training is all employees of the hospital, from housekeeping to managers. This training is mandatory for all employees every year, and if you do not attend one of the sessions a write up will be their future. The purpose of the training is to make sure that staff are following the steps of FIRST, F= Friend...
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...r (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84). Adult learning is different from traditional learning because adults are more self-directing, self-motivated and is more eager to learn. Adult learners need to feel like they are treated equal, rather than feeling lower than the educator. Adult learners need to have mutual respect and a proper climate to ensure that they stay focused on the topics being discussed.
AlleyDog.com. (2013). Social Roles. Retrieved from http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Social%20Roles
Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Wood, D. (unknown). Andragogy: appreciating the characteristics of the adult learner. Memphis, Tennessee. Retrieved from http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/tlc/tutor%20training/ANDRAGOGY.htm
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