Closing the gap between andragogy and pedagogy
by Ozzie Logozzo, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., FRI, Executive Director, OREA Real Estate College
Andragogy (assumptions about how adults learn) differs from pedagogy (assumptions about how children learn). Well, not really. I see significant overlap between these two models of education. The differences assigned to adults can be made negligible if simplified and applied creatively for young learners. Let me clarify…
The academic literature abounds with as many theorists and theories as there are pixels on my iPhone screen. Sorry Blackberry diehards, but your products have decelerated in direct proportion as my RIM stocks.
The learned bubble-heads of educational theory include B.F. Skinner (programmed learning), Benjamin Bloom (taxonomy of educational objectives), Robert Gagne (sequential, simple to complex, learning), Carl Rogers (student-centrism), Howard Gardner (diversity of intelligences), David Kolb (structured learning experiences), Hermann Brain Dominance (four-quadrant model of brain functioning), Neuro- Linguistic Programming (focus on all sensory modalities), Whole-Part-Whole model combined behaviouristic and holistic approach to learning), and the ‘Grand Papa’ of andragogy, Malcolm Knowles (adults have unique learner attributes). And, of course, O. Logozzo (all such schools of thought have relevancy that can be used in creating a positive climate for learning regardless of age). This last chap is my favourite.
With this précis of a Masters of Education degree’s curriculum, two fundamental questions echo in my brain – in all chambers, active, or dormant. It matters naught if you are a behaviourist, structuralist, functionalist, or humanist. Essentially,
- Does the learning coin consist of andragogy on one side and pedagogy on the other? (a less important query)
- What principles and strategies facilitate successful learning? (a significant probe)
The second question is of critical concern to all and sun-dried. The first question is a pet peeve of mine.
I know how to prioritize, so let’s deal with primacy first and leave subordination to my lacklustre conclusion.
Structuring your teaching so learners acquire and achieve requisite competencies is not just grit for academic debate. It’s a real life problem. What are some of the basic principles and strategies that trigger the acquisition of knowledge?
Well, I don’t propose to spoon-feed you nor provide you with a take-away recipe. I will offer you key attributes, ingredients if you like, that must be cooked in the classroom or within the online learning experience for prompting, shaping, reinforcing, stimulating, arousing thinking and, hence, learning. Here we go…
Content, tasks, and delivery need:
- lower and higher level knowledge and skills
- simple to complex designs
- self-directed experiences
- a wide range of instructional methods
- an appeal to all senses
- structured lesson plans
- focus on real life problems and experiences
- opportunities for active participation
- self-esteem building exercises
- clear objectives and rationale
- positive encouragement
- fair measurement and feedback
- recognition of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints
- a view of the big picture
- a plethora of details
- group work to maximize networking and exchanges of ideas
- an outline of the why and how
- a relaxed, informal, likable environment
- an enthusiastic and positive facilitator
- questions raised and answered with minimal ambiguity
- time to practise and correct errors
- (add others that come to your mind)
In sum, instructors and programs that deploy these ingredients create an excellent meal for the old and young, and address the myriad learning styles of participants. These are the elements that contribute splendidly to learners’ understanding and insight.
And now, for question number two. Well, let me simply say that a 25 cent piece is still a 25 piece no matter what side it lands on after the proverbial betting flick into the air.