“Andragogy focuses on the adult learner and his or her life situation” (Merriam et al, 2007, p. 83), and is based on a number of assumptions about the adult learner” (Merriam et al, 2007, p.84). It is important to adult learners and teachers because it focuses on the foundation of design, implementation, and evaluation for adult learning programs. According to Merriam (2007) “there should exist a spirit of mutuality between teachers and students as joint inquirers (p. 85). The purpose of this paper is to review a traditional learning context and compare to the adult environment. Six standard assumptions provided by Malcolm Knowles will be reviewed in this paper.
Traditional Learning Context
As a freshman at the University of Massachusetts I was required to take a certain credit load of classes. While I do not remember the lecturer’s name, the subject matter stands out as Psychology 101, which was a basic first year class. The audience in this class consisted of mostly college freshman with a sprinkle of students from upper levels. The demographic was quite diverse as this was a public institution located in the city. I was not quite “required” to take this particular psychology class but as a freshman I was required to take a social science so I had selected this class. At the time it appeared to be very interesting to me but that soon changed once class started. The purpose of the lecture was to learn basic psychology while fulfilling a requirement for social science credits. I recall sitting in the small classroom that was packed from wall to wall with students. The material was also very dry which did not mix well with a lecturer that was as equally as such.
I can o...
... middle of paper ...
...to know why I was learning something to better engage in the learning process.
In conclusion, the andragogy theory focuses on adult learning in the adult center life style. It is important to the adult learner and the teacher because it provides the basis for which each class is created- design, implementation, and evaluation. This paper shows that traditional learning context is comparable to the adult environment. A traditional learning context can be compared to each of the six assumptions established by Malcolm Knowles in the andragogy theory. Each provides a useful frame of reference to the situation.
Knowles, M. S. (1984). The adult learner: A neglected species (3rd ed.). Houston: Gulf.
Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive
guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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