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Andragogy Learning Method
The term andragogy was used to differentiate it from the theory of youth learning, pefagogy. This term was used by Malcolm Knowles in his work of developing a unified system of adult learning.

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It is essentially a process model and is based around the premise that, as an individual matures, his/her need and capacity to be self-directing, to utilize his/her experience in learning, to identify his/her own readiness to learn, and to organize his/her learning around life problems, increases steadily from infancy to pre-adolescence and then increase rapidly during adolescence.

Andragogical theory is based on the following four assumptions that distinguish it from pedagogy or traditional teaching methods:

1. Concept of the learner
2. Role of learner's experience
3. Readiness to learn
4. Orientation to learning.

Pedagogy Learning Approach:

Concept of the Learner:
• Role of learner is dependent
• Teacher takes responsibility for the whole learning process

Role of Learners Experience:
• Learners bring little experience to the learning situation
• Learners dependent on 'expert' input
• Main techniques are transmittal techniques

Readiness to Learn
• Learners learn what they are conditioned to learn to obtain parental, societal approval
• Fear of failure is a great motivator
• Learning is standardized and progressive because it is aimed at the same age group and every age group is similar in its learning needs and its readiness to learn

Orientation to Learning
• Learning is subject-orientated, with emphasis on content, most of which they may forget because it has no immediate relevance (principle of 'deferred gratification)

Andragogy Learning Approach

Concept of the Learner
• Role of learner is essentially self-directing
• Role of teacher is to encourage and nurture this self-directed need

Role of Learners’ Experience
• Learners' experience accumulated over a lifetime is a great resource for learning both for self and others
• Learners attach greater significance to what they experience rather than what they are told
• Main techniques are experiential techniques

Readiness to Learn
• Learners learn when they feel a need to learn
• Learning should meet their needs to help them cope with the demands of their world—home, work, etc.
• Learning should be organized to meet learner needs and sequenced according to individual's ability and readiness to learn

Orientation to Learning
• Learners seek to acquire competence to cope with demands of their world; they seek personal development and achievement of potential; they also seek immediate gratification; learning must be relevant and immediately applicable

Implications for the Trainer

1. Motivation of the individual is an intrinsic process (the 'push' from within, which is self-generated), so that they are self-directing. The role of the trainer is to create a learning environment that harnesses these intrinsic drives and not an environment that suppresses them. An informal environment is best. Formality can create tension and tension impedes learning.

2. Self-directing individuals occasionally need support. The role of the trainer is to recognize when this exists and provide the appropriate support, either personally or using group members.

3. Wherever possible the experience of each individual must be tapped. To deny a person's experience is to deny that person. The probing of experience from people with different backgrounds so that they may learn from each other is one of the fundamentals of Action Learning which has been applied with notable success in problem-solving situations in industry and is now being used as the basic methodology on management development programs up to and including the MBA.

4. The participative method should be widely used on training programs because:

(a). it utilizes members' experience for the benefit of others, including the trainer;
(b) it is only by having an experience that people begin the cycle of learning which is outlined later on;
(c) involvement in an experience ensures that the span of attention is widened so the participants learn more;
(d) by participating in an experience, participants not only gain knowledge and skill, but also have certain feelings and emotions that can be a powerful way of changing attitudes and can give them greater self-insight and greater insight into others.

5. The content of a program should be a contract between trainer and learner. This meets the learner's needs for relevance to the present and moves away from the principle of deferred gratification, which is unacceptable for most adults. The involvement of the learner in deciding program content also increases commitment because they part-own the decision.

6. Where knowledge is imparted with the delegate in the passive mode, there should be ample opportunity to reinforce the learning by varying methods. Reinforcement is a vital part of the learning process and methods used should vary according to subject material and individual learning styles. Variety stimulates and makes the learner more receptive.

To summarize, according to Knowles, the andragogical model is a process model, not a content model that has been employed by traditional education. The andragogical tutor is a facilitator, a consultant, a change agent, who prepares in advance a set of procedures for involving the learners in a process of:

1. establishing a climate conducive to learning;
2. creating a mechanism for mutual planning;
3. diagnosing the needs for learning;
4. formulating objectives and therefore content which will satisfy these needs;
5. designing a pattern of learning experiences;
6. conducting these learning experiences with suitable techniques and materials;
7. evaluating the learning outcomes and rediagnosing learning needs.

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The process model does not ignore content—rather the emphasis is on providing procedures and resources for facilitating the learner's acquisition of information and skills. This ownership by the delegate of the program objectives and content increases commitment, harnesses their intrinsic motivation and is a powerful way of influencing attitudinal change. If it only serves to influence their attitude to training and to make it more positive, that in itself is a powerful achievement!

Source of Reference:
Tony Pont, Developing Effective Training Skills: A Practical Guide to Designing and Delivering Group Training, Mcgraw-Hill Training Series. You can obtain this fine book here