Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy?

Andragogy is derived from Greek words meaning andr "man" and agogos "leading," while pedagogy means "child-leading." First a term Andragogy was used by Alexander Kapp, the German high school teacher, in his book "Plato’s Educational Ideas" in 1833. This term was used again in reference to adult education in the 1920s in Germany and it suddenly appeared in many publications around the world in the 1950s. In 1968, Malcolm Knowles published his first article "Andragogy, Not Pedagogy."

According to Knowles, there are five main characteristics of adult learners:
1. Self-concept: As a person matures his self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being
2. Experience: As a person matures he accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning.
3. Readiness to learn. As a person matures his readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of his social roles.
4. Orientation to learning. As a person matures his time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly his orientation toward learning shifts from one of subject-centeredness to one of problem centredness.
5. Motivation to learn. As a person matures the motivation to learn is internal. (http://www.infed.org/lifelonglearning/b-andra.htm )

Today Andragogy has been accepted around the world, and adult education is one of the essential parts of curriculum in most educational institutions.

  • The adult learners are self-directed and responsible for their own learning;
  • Self-evaluations plays important role in assessment of learning process;
  • The learners bring a great volume and quality of their experience;
  • Adults learn to perform better in some aspects of their life;
  • The learners bring a great volume and quality of their experience;
  • Learning is organized more around life/work situation than subject matter units.
  • Adults learn for better quality of life, for self-confidence, and self-actualization.

According to Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon, Andragogy still remains a teacher-centred learning experience, while there is a demand for different approaches in teaching and learning in our technology-oriented society where "information is readily and easily accessible; where change is so rapid that traditional methods of training and education are totally inadequate; discipline based knowledge is inappropriate to prepare for living in modern communities and workplaces; learning is increasingly aligned with what we do; modern organisational structures require flexible learning practices; and there is a need for immediacy of learning."

Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon developed a new concept of Heutagogy - "the study of self-determined learning, [which] may be viewed as a natural progression from earlier educational methodologies and may well provide the optimal approach to learning in the 21st century." According to a hutagogical approach in education, a teacher provides resources, but a learner actually designs the course and negotiates further readings and assessment tasks with the teacher. Teachers are mainly concerned with development of the learner's abilities. Assessment becomes a learning experience for students.

I agree that in distance education it is important to shift from teacher-directed to student-directed learning, but Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon article didn't convince me that Heutagogy is any different from Andragogy. At first, Knowles tend to separate Pedagogy, related only to children from Andragogy, related only to adults. However, in 1970-1980, he considered Pedagogy and Adragogy as continuum ranging from teacher-directed to student-directed learning. Knowles perceived a learner as self-directed and autonomous and the teacher as a facilitator of learning process rather than dictator and presenter of a rigid content. How is this different from the hutagogical approach?


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