By Loydene F. Hill, originally published in the AuthorsDen.com
This article compares the pedagogical and andragogical learning models when dealing with adults and children.
When one seeks to compare the pedagogical and andragogical learning models, one must understand what the basic difference is between the two. The pedagogical learning model has been the prevailing learning model in the education of children since the 19th century. It resides, and flourishes, in the belief that if a child does not learn, then the teacher has failed as a transmitter of knowledge, and provides no recourse against the child for his lack of interest or participation in the learning process. As children, young adults, and undergraduate students, we promote this theory, by learning only what is needed to receive a passing marks and move forward to the next level in our education. Educators and students remain passive as to their roles in the learning process, and rely on the student’s total intellectual dependency on the teacher for any acquired learning that he receives, much the same way an addict relies on the actions of his enabler, for continued support.
With the pedagogical learning model, students do not take the initiative to acquire new knowledge, rather they wait until the educator believes that they are ready to absorb new ideas, subjects and practices. In this model, the learning orientation of a student is centered around the subjects studied, content of the instructional materials, and teacher experiences that are required to reach their academic goal, and any learning motivation that they possess usually comes from an external source, i.e., grades, favorable or unfavorable rewards from parents or teachers, and family duress.
When we examine the andragogical learning model, the opposite is true. The andragogical model was theorized by Malcolm Knowles in 1990, and specifically oriented toward the adult learner. Adults learn differently, and for different reasons, than do children and young adults, and their style is completely antithetic to that of the pedagogical learner.
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