Andragogy is a term for the practice of adult education. There are several generalized connotations from the term itself, but the context that seems to be the most relevant is its contrast from pedagogy. When a student transcends adolescence by gaining new experience and motivations their learning methodologies must change with them. This is especially important and applicable given the emerging technology-empowered education opportunities available now and in the near future.
Since it is related, and likely something that every student has personal experience with, it is important to understand the fundamentals of pedagogy before defining and exploring andragogy. These principles include the sequential development of the mental processes that allow a student to recognize, recall, evaluate, contrast, apply, create, understand, and evaluate gained knowledge (Multiple Unknown, Pedagogy, 2012). The Instructional Theory’s three general theoretical stances: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism essentially summarize these critical skill sets (Multiple Unknown, Instructional Learning Theory, 2012).
Behaviorism is the act of learning in response to acquisition and stimuli. This learning methodology originates with Aristotle whose essay "Memory" focused on associations made by the mind during events such as lightning and thunder (Mergel, 1998). In education, Behaviorism effectively embraces a quid pro quo system in the classrooms by rewarding desired behaviors and discouraging inappropriate ones (Kristinsdóttir, 2008).
Cognitivism is the learning involved in building associations established through continuity and repetition. In laymen’s speak, this is learning through memorization. There are two aspects to this learning theory. The first, Organization, suggests that because all cognitive structures are interrelated. Therefore, the introduction of any new data a student encounters must fit into an existing system. The second aspect of this theory is adaptation, which is the tendency to understand new experience in terms of existing knowledge through assimilation and accommodation (Kristinsdóttir, Cognitivism, 2008).
The last pillar of the pedagogic Instructional Theory is Constructivism. This methodology is based upon the premise that knowledge is constructed from experience. This suggests that learning itself is developed through a student's personal interpretation of the world around them (Unknown, Instructional Learning Theory, 2012). This implies that this style of education is best situated in a realistic setting with testing integrated into the learning process rather than as a secondary activity.
A German educator named Alexander Kapp coined the term andragogy in 1833. Kapp used the term to describe elements of Plato's education theory (Smith, 2011). This theory outlines the philosopher’s ideas regarding the examination, definition, goals, and meaning of education process. The adjoined key point...