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Andragogy Theory

This is a sample introduction for a research paper on andragogy theory. Paper Masters can write you a custom paper on the topic.

Andragogy theory is an educational strategy designed for adult learners, as opposed to pedagogy, which deals with the education of children. Andragogy was first developed in the 1950s by Malcolm Knowles. The chief difference in andragogy theory is the diminished role of the instructor. Failure on the part of the adult learner is not necessarily the fault of the instructor.

Andragogy recognizes this motivational aspect of the adult learner.  Unlike many children who are required by law to attend school until a certain age, adult students return to school because they understand the importance of their education.  Motivational factors might include the following:

  • Self-esteem
  • The desire to set an example for their children
  • Personal betterment
  • Job promotion
  • Higher salary 

In any case, adult learners are motivated to learn but seek the tools to do so.  Andragogy recognizes this motivation by adults and equips instructors with a strategy.

In conclusion, andragogy provides a framework for the adult education of adults that is superior to pedagogy.  It recognizes the experience of adults and changes the relationship between instructor and student to one of cooperation and collaboration.   By giving them the creativity and flexibility needed to design their own learning, adults gain knowledge that will help them gain knowledge not only in the present but in the future as well.   

Deciding to Learn is at the Heart of Andragogy Theory

Andragogy Theory

The driving force behind andragogy theory is that the adult learner has made an active decision to undertake learning. Thus the process of engaging adult learners differs greatly than traditional education strategies for children. Knowles developed six assumptions regarding an adult’s motivation for learning, which have become the cornerstone of andragogy in the United States.

Knowles assumed that an adult has a need to know, a foundation of experience, including failure, for learning activities, needs to be an integral part of the decision-making process in instruction, is most interested in subjects that are relevant to their lives or career, is problem-centered in their approach to learning, and responds best to internal motivation. As a result, “adult education” has become a growing academic field. Andragogical instruction involves the development of self-awareness in order to motivate the individual towards learning.

Learning and Extrinsic Factors

Today’s modern world, however, is filled with technological development that has created a workplace that is dynamic.  Learning can not be completed in a short amount of time.  Adult learners within formal institutions are only part of a system that recognizes the need to develop life long learning skills.  To maintain a competitive edge, businesses need employees who are actively seeking new knowledge and information to drive future progress. 

Related Research Paper Topics

Pedagogical Theory and Education research papers analyze the trends and theory behind the approaches to teaching used in the public education system.

Adult Learning Theory - Because adult learners are so different from traditional students, Adult Learning Theories help meet the needs of this unique population by introducing different teaching styles.