Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Malcolm Knowles, Andragogy, and Technology, Part I

Pretty clever fellow is Malcolm Knowles. He distinguishes between adult and juvenile learners. The problem is that I don't know which category college freshmen fall into. Suppose I assume that I can apply the assumptions behind andragogy to my teaching. Let's start with the need to know. "Why do I need to know this?" "Why do I have to take this class?" "Will this be on the test?" What college professor hasn't heard those questions before?

Technology can help with the answers. The Internet provides access to a plethora of teaching materials. The problem is where to start. We'll continue this conversation by focusing on learning objects in a future post.
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1 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Tammy said...

This is an interesting conversation for those interesting in adult learning (in the classroom or organization).

As children, we were all exposed to pedagogy in the classroom, from grades K-12. Sunddenly, when we transition from Grade 12 to College Freshman, we told that we are "adult learners" and we should "take responsiblity" for our own learning. This implies, that at this point in our young lives...and from that point forward...we will be exposed to teaching techniques that support adult learning methods (andragogy).

Now, to make this even more difficult for the "new adult learner" in college (aka the freshman), not all college-level faculty practic pure andragogy.

In my experience, many years ago, as a college freshman, I found myself in a classroom which was conducted much like that in High School in regards to strictness, timeliness, what I should learn, how I should think, where I should be, etc. etc. I didn't matter if the material was meaningful or relevant to myself. The professor didn't care about my experiences. The professor lectured, I took notes, and was told to learn what was taught...then recite everything back in a Final Mult Choice exam. Yikes!

I found that college professors still used the traditional pedagogy methods to teach, BUT expected the students to respond as ADULTS, who M. Knowles said were "self-directed" and "responsible."

My comment is this to all professors of college freshman. If you want your students to be "adult learners", who are "responsible" and "self-directed", then stop using most of the the K-12 model of pedagogy as an example and expecting the outcome the "andragogy" model produces!

3:32 PM  

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