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Knowles: Andragogy Cheat Sheet by

Art & Science helping Adults to Learn
principles     learning     knowles     andragogy     motivations     adult

What is Andragogy?

Andragogy, as presented by Knowles, is “the art and science of helping adults learn.” Shepherd Knowles won wide acclaim for his work in adult education theory (Smith, 1999).

The term was coined though these roots of the word andragogy:
andr – meaning ‘man’ (adult) and
agogos - meaning 'leading' (educa­ting)

Two primary unders­tan­dings of ‘andra­gogy’ currently exist:
1. The science of unders­tanding (theory) and supporting (practice) lifelong and life-wide education of adults.
2. A specific theore­tical and practical approach, based on a humanistic conception of self-d­irected and autonomous learners and teachers as facili­tators of learni­ng.

Knowles’ 4 Principles of Andragogy

In 1984, Knowles suggested 4 principles that are applied to adult learning:
1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instru­cti­on.
2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for the learning activi­ties.
3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance and impact to their job or personal life.
4. Adult learning is proble­m-c­entered rather than conten­t-o­rie­nted. (Kea­rsley, 2010)
 

Andragogy: 6 Motiva­tions of Learning

Knowles' theory can be stated with six assump­tions related to motivation of adult learning:
1. Self-c­onc­ept: As people mature, they move being a dependent person­ality toward being more self-d­irected
2. Experi­ence: As people mature, they amass a growing set of experi­ences that provide a fertile resource for learning
3. Readiness to learn: As people mature, they are more interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their jobs or personal lives
4. Orient­ation to learni­ng: As people mature, their time perspe­ctive changes from gathering knowledge for future use to immediate applic­ation of knowledge. As such, adult learners become more proble­m-c­entered rather than subjec­t-c­entered (Knowles, 1980)
5. Motivation to learn: As people mature, they become more motivated by various internal incent­ives, such as need for self-e­steem, curiosity, desire to achieve, and satisf­action of accomp­lis­hment
6. Releva­nce: As people mature, they need to know why they need to learn something (Knowles, 1984).

The 5 Assump­tions of Androgory

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