Reviewing the Evidence on How Adult Students Learn: An Examination of Knowles Model of AndragogyReport as inadecuate

Reviewing the Evidence on How Adult Students Learn: An Examination of Knowles Model of Andragogy - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, p99-110 2009

While there may be similarities between adults and children in how they learn (such as language, interaction and communication), many writers argue that adult learners are different from child learners in a number of ways. This article aims to review how adults learn through examining one particular theory of adult learning. Two conflicting learning theories, known as andragogy and pedagogy, have a particular relevance to the adult educator. One learning theory that has attempted to overcome some of the negative aspects of pedagogy is a theory that was introduced by Malcolm Knowles known as andragogy. Andragogy according to Henschke (1998:8) can be defined as "a scientific discipline that studies everything related to learning and teaching which would bring adults to their full degree of humaneness." Unlike pedagogy, andragogy is centered on the idea that the lecturer does not posses all the knowledge and that students are encouraged to participate in the classroom by utilising their own experiences. In this article, the author discusses the Andragogy of Malcolm Knowles and explores how the theory continues to be important for practitioners in Ireland.

Descriptors: Learning Theories, Andragogy, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Foreign Countries, Adult Educators, Epistemology, Educational Practices, Teaching Models, Evidence

AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation. 2nd Floor, 83-87 Main Street, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland. Tel :+353-1-406-8220; Tel: +353-1-406-8221; Fax: +353-1-406-8227; e-mail: mail[at]; Web site:

Author: McGrath, Valerie


Related documents