The World of Work Project

Pedagogy and Andragogy

Pedagogy is defined as the the method and practice of teaching, particularly in an academic field. It’s etymology links it with teaching children, so it is sometimes contrasted with andragogy, teaching adults.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Pedagogy and Andragogy

Pedagogy basically refers to the processes and practices of teaching, or passing on knowledge and skills to others. They ways that this is done vary hugely around the world and are a product of social and cultural differences, methodological differences and developmental and psychological differences among learners.

Aren’t dictionaries so much fun?!

The word itself is derived from ancient Greek and is the combination of two words, one meaning “to lead” and the other “child”. Pedagogy also gives rise to the word “pedagog”, which simply means someone who educates young people.

Given these links to the teaching of children, some people think that another word is needed to capture the art of teaching adults. And this is where the word andragogy come in, being derived from the Greek for leading adults.

As an aside, an earlier fork in the etymology of the word pedagogy also gave rise to the word pedantic.

The World of Work Project View

We very much agree that there are large differences between how children and adults learn, and concepts like adult learning theory are important for instructional design.

However, we also think that most people involved in educating or training people, and all the instructional models that are widely used, acknowledge that a detailed understanding of the learning audience should be obtained before designing your learning initiative.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is based on general reading and there are no specific references for it.


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