Andragogy and pedagogy refer to the theories and methods involved in imparting education to adults and children, respectively. This post elaborates on the similarities and differences between these two teaching styles.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.“
Learning involves the process of acquiring vital knowledge, and it is a lifelong process that begins at birth, and ceases at the death of an individual. Throughout the different stages of life, humans learn new behavior, skills, values, knowledge, preferences, information, etc. The ability to learn and recall all this is different for all individuals. Human learning occurs not only as a part of formal education and schooling, but also as a part of general daily interactions with friends, family, and strangers. Some learning is compulsory in life, but the majority of it is voluntary and contextual. As an individual learns, the acquired information subtly molds and modifies that person’s perspective and outlook.
What is Pedagogy and Andragogy?
Learning occurs in various stages in a person’s life. Initially, informal and basic education is given by one’s parents. This instills within an individual a basic social and moral code of conduct. Later, as we start growing, we attend schools, colleges, and then universities, to acquire essential knowledge that would prove useful in becoming a successful adult. At each of these stages, education is imparted in a different approach. In other words, the way we learn in school is drastically different from the way we are taught in colleges and universities. This difference in teaching methods that is correlated with the age of the learner gives rise to two concepts: pedagogy (children’s education) and andragogy (adult education).
Pedagogy Vs. Andragogy
➤ Education of children (students).
➤ Education of adults (learners).
➤ Dependent on instructor.
➤ Independent, but guided by instructor.
➤ The teacher is responsible for what, is taught and how it is learned.
➤ The learner is responsible for his/her own learning.
➤ The teacher evaluates the extent of learning.
➤ The learner self-evaluates the level of learning.
➤ The learner has no prior experience that can be used as a resource for learning, and hence, relies on the instructor’s experience.
➤ Adults possess a rich source of life-experiences, that shape the way they understand and learn.
Interest for Learning
➤ The teacher has to generate interest in the student for the subject.
➤ Learning is pursued due to an inherent interest in that particular subject.
➤ Extrinsic motivation is needed, i.e., rewards for learning well, and punishments for failing to learn.
➤ The learner is intrinsically motivated as a consequence of factors such as recognition, self-worth, quality of life, confidence, etc.
Medium of Teaching
➤ Passive methods like lectures, seminars, and demonstrations.
➤ Active methods like discussions, debates, worksheets, surveys, etc.
The common factor between these two teaching approaches is the fact that, both are problem-centered approaches. Both involve the imparting of education from an authoritative figure to the learner via interactions. Also, in both methods, the teacher provides support, feedback, and resources for better acquisition of knowledge by the learner. And lastly, both methods result in educating the individual, and transforming his/her perspective and outlook.
In recent times, however, educational methods are undergoing radical reforms, and many educators are of the opinion that the teaching approach should be based on the mental capability of the individual, rather than his/her age. This implies that, depending on the person’s grasping power and the level of difficulty of the subject, a new approach must be implemented, such that it adopts aspects of both teaching methods.