Andragogy: The Study of Adult Learning

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Edward Lindeman is thought by many to be the founder of contemporary adult education. His work in the area of adult education included the writing of articles, books, public presentations, assistance in the collegiate system as a lecturer of social work and as an associate pastor in the church (Brookfield, 1986). Lindeman and Martha Anderson traveled to observe and analyze the German Folk High School system and the worker’s movement. Consequently, Lindeman and Anderson’s comparative research lead to the breakthrough of the German perception of andragogy. Their studies defined andragogy as the “true method of adult learning” (1986). In 1968 at Boston University, the initial use of the term “andragogy” to attain prevalent notice of adult instructors occurred when Malcolm Knowles—who at the time was an instructor of adult education—presented the term via journal article. In his 1970 book publication, he defined “andragogy” as the art and science of helping adults learn. The concept of self-directed learning, or SDL, maintained below reveals Knowles’ definition of SDL:
“In its broadest meaning, ’self-directed learning’ describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with our without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identify human and material resources for learning, choosing and implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.” (Knowles, Holton, Swanson, 2011, p. 18)
The main interest in the above definition of SDL is the point the learner acquires 1) the ingenuity to engage in a learning experience, and 2) the accountability for finishing their education (1986). After the learner has a sense of readiness, it is his or her final ...

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...elopment of his ideologies and he is inclined to be explanatory instead of systematic or detailed. This is undoubtedly a suitable evaluation. A straightforward example of this may be seen from the fact that andragogy is still defined in the 1984 publication in terms of facilitating adults’ education although he has altered his position twice since the time when he in fact did define the subject in this fashion (2011). Knowles has been a modernizer, acting in response to the requirements of the subject as he observed them, per se, he has been a fundamental character in the development of the study and procedure of adult learning all over the Western world this era. Nevertheless, perchance it would be reasonable to state that both his methods and his procedure have exemplified his personal assessment system and that this is confined within his designs of andragogy.

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