Pedagogy and andragogy are related words of Greek origin:
- Pedagogy is derived from the phrase paidi (child) + ago (guide)
- Andragogy is derived from the phrase andras (man) + agogos (leader).
From the meaning of the Greek words, it is easy to interpret pedagogy to mean a “child-focused teaching approach,” while andragogy is an “adult-focused” teaching approach. Pedagogy can be described as leading children, while andragogy means leading men (or women).
Related: Check out the book: Greek Pedagogy on Amazon
Both methods are effective in their own right, but it’s difficult to say one is better than the other. Teachers and trainers who understand the differences will be able to figure out what works best with their students. This post will go into more detail to help you make that call.
The first step in understanding a teaching tool, how do we pronounce it?!
The International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciation is ˈpɛdəˌɡoʊdʒi/ /ˈpɛdəˌɡɑdʒi/. In both the U.K. and U.S., it’s often pronounced “ped-a-gaug-gee” (as in “geese”) though some use the “j” sound and pronounce it “ped-a-go-jee.”
Definition of Pedagogy
Who is a Pedagogue?
The term pedagogue (also pedagog) is used in most instances to describe a teacher, or more precisely, a schoolteacher – a person (teacher) who is pedantic, dogmatic, and formal. It denotes someone who believes in the pedagogic approaches and utilizes them at every stage of teaching.
The pedagogy adopted by a teacher will significantly determine his/her actions, judgments, and other teaching strategies. Often, a pedagogue considers theories of learning, understands the individual needs of students and the background of the students, and then adopts teaching strategies that work for them. The teacher is the absolute knowledge keeper, and students are the recipients.
Pedagogy in Practice
How is Pedagogy practiced
Pedagogy has a one-way focus. The learning method involves only the teacher sharing his/her knowledge with the learners. The learners are entirely reliant on the teacher. Ideally, the learning process’s success will depend on the teacher’s methods, strategies, and understanding.
The students’ goal is to assimilate the knowledge the teacher is trying to impart. The is the absolute authority, so they will also evaluate students’ progress and assume full responsibility for what is taught and its efficacy. The teacher will also decide when their pupils are ready for the next level.
How is education different for children?
While children are ready to learn in most instances, this readiness has to be encouraged by the teacher. They may be willing to know more about their environment, but their willingness to be part of formal learning is built by the teacher using advanced methodologies and interactive lesson plans to develop knowledge and skills in specific fields.
Related: Teach Kids When They’re Ready
Learners in this model are mostly motivated to learn extrinsically, like getting good grades and accolades and avoiding failure and its consequences.
What is Andragogy
Andragogy is an adult-focused approach to teaching and learning. It explores the different ways adults learn, including the science of understanding and supporting adults’ lifelong education. This approach recognizes that the methods used in teaching children are not always effective when it comes to adults.
Related: What is Adult Learning Theory?
In andragogy, instructors are expected to connect learning experiences to what adult learners already know. The learners have experience and can build on the experiences to maximize learning opportunities. While it recognizes the self-directed and autonomous learners, it also acknowledges teachers’ roles or facilitators of learning.
The andragogy approach is not curriculum-focused; it allows for the personal opinion of the learner, knowledge checks and rechecks, as well as better pacing. It leaves room for a lifetime of learning, which is something every person should welcome.
Knowles’ 4 Principles of Andragogy
Andragogy in Practice
How does Andragogy benefit adults
Pedagogy vs. Andragogy, that is the question, but is there really a “best” answer?
Realistically, no the method chosen should be dependent on the learners. One major factor that distinguishes pedagogy and Andragogy is the way they are organized. We can easily conclude that pedagogy is more organized than Andragogy. After all, pedagogy has been around for centuries. It has been the norm and has developed over the centuries to be well-organized. But that doesn’t make it better or worse.
Pedagogy and Andragogy are both great ways to learn. Understanding the tenets of both approaches will help you determine the most suitable in any situation. At the foundational stage of learning, pedagogy is an excellent method. When there is a need to solve real-life problems at an adult stage of learning, Andragogy is the best method to use.
To answer the question of which is the best learning choice, we can say that it all depends on who is involved.
Hey, I’m Kris Taylor. I’m a Learning and Development professional currently in the healthcare field, with over 8 years of experience in the area of corporate education. I have created numerous instructional content for various corporate projects including eLearning, in-person facilitation, and virtual training across a wide variety of learning interventions and sectors. On Taughtup, I discuss topics ranging from how to succeed through K-12 to college all the way to instructional design tips for L&D designers.