Pedagogy Vs Andragogy
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Pedagogy VS Andragogy
By Smith, Todd
Pedagogy (pÐ¸d-e-goÒjÐº) literally means the art and science of educating children and often is used as a synonym for teaching. More accurately, pedagogy embodies teacher-focused education.
In the pedagogic model, teachers assume responsibility for making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, and when it will be learned. Teachers direct learning.
The great teachers of ancient times, from Confucius to Plato, didnt pursue such authoritarian techniques. Major differences exist between what we know of the great teachers styles, yet they all saw learning as a process of active inquiry, not passive reception. Considering this, it is surprising that teacher-focused learning later came to dominate formal education.
One explanation for the teacher-focused approach goes back to the Calvinists who believed wisdom was evil. They espoused that adults direct, control, and ultimately limit childrens learning to keep them innocent.
Another theory maintains that seventh century schools, organized to prepare young boys for the priesthood, found indoctrination an effective approach to instill beliefs, faith, and ritual. Many centuries later, organized schools adopted a similar approach although the outcome was supposed to be neither innocence nor a cloistered life.
John Dewey believed formal schooling was falling short of its potential. Dewey emphasized learning through various activities rather than traditional teacher-focused curriculum. He believed children learned more from guided experience than authoritarian instruction. He ascribed to a learner-focused education philosophy. He held that learning is life not just preparation for life.
Adult education, too, fell victim to teacher-centered models. In 1926, the American Association for Adult Education began and quickly started researching better ways to educate adults. Influenced by Dewey, Eduard C. Lindeman wrote in The Meaning of Adult Education:
Our academic system has grown in reverse order. Subjects and teachers constitute the starting point, [learners] are secondary. In conventional education the [learner] is required to adjust himself to an established curriculum.Too much of learning consists of vicarious substitution of someone elses experience and knowledge. Psychology teaches us that we learn what we do….Experience is the adult learners living textbook.
Unfortunately, only some of Deweys and Lindemans theories seeped into modern classrooms for children or adults. A century after Dewey proposed learner-focused education, most formal education still focuses on the teacher.
As a result, many learners leave school having lost interest in learning. Even good-intentioned educators can squelch naturally inquisitive instincts by controlling the learning environment. By adulthood, some people view learning as a chore and a burden.
In an attempt to formulate a comprehensive adult learning theory, Malcolm Knowles, in 1973, published the book The