Andragogy vs. Pedagogy: Understanding the Differences

Andragogy vs Pedagogy

Andragogy and pedagogy are two popular teaching methods that are important to understand, particularly for those in the field of education. Andragogy focuses on adult learning methodologies, while pedagogy is the traditional method of teaching that describes how children learn. Although there are similarities between adult and child learning, there are also many differences that need to be highlighted.

What is Andragogy?

The concept of andragogy is centered on the understanding that the methods used to teach adults differ significantly from those used to teach children. This distinction has given rise to the separate methodologies of andragogy and pedagogy. Andragogy focuses on strategies that help adults learn more effectively and efficiently. The concept was first introduced by German educationist Alexander Kapp in 1833 and later developed into a subject of adult learning by Malcolm Knowles of the US.

Andragogy is based on several key assumptions, such as adults being more interested in learning concepts relevant to their work and personal lives, requiring internal motivators rather than external ones, and needing experience that includes errors. Adults are also considered more responsible than children in monitoring their evaluation. In summary, andragogy is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the method and practice of teaching adult learners; adult education.”

What is Pedagogy?

Pedagogy revolves around the study of the learning process in children and encompasses the methodologies and strategies used to teach them. It refers to instructive theory, with teachers learning not only their subject but also the methods necessary for imparting education in that subject. The Oxford English dictionary defines pedagogy as “the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.”

What is the difference between Andragogy and Pedagogy?

• Andragogy focuses on teaching adult learners, while pedagogy focuses on teaching children.
• In andragogy, learners are called participants, while in pedagogy, they are labeled students.
• Instructors in andragogy are referred to as facilitators or trainers, while in pedagogy, they are called instructors or teachers.
• Pedagogy relies on the instructor’s style, while andragogy promotes an independent learning style.
• Pedagogy has fixed, predetermined objectives, while andragogy’s objectives are more flexible.
• Pedagogy assumes that students are inexperienced and cannot contribute, while andragogy believes learners can make a contribution.
• Pedagogy employs passive training methods like lectures and demonstrations, while andragogy uses active methods such as exercises and role-playing.
• In andragogy, learners influence the timing and pace of learning, while in pedagogy, instructors control these factors.

Key Takeaways

  • Andragogy focuses on adult learning methodologies, while pedagogy focuses on children’s learning methodologies.
  • Andragogy promotes independent learning styles and flexible objectives, while pedagogy relies on the instructor’s style and predetermined objectives.
  • Andragogy uses active training methods such as exercises and role-playing, while pedagogy employs passive methods like lectures and demonstrations.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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