Aquafest 2009

The art and practice of adult education, more specifically the facilities
and the processes that help it are referred to as Andragogy.


Andragogy – All that you want to know about adult education

What is Andragogy?
The art and practice of adult education, more specifically the facilities and the processes that help it are referred to as Andragogy. The term is probably used in contrast to the term ‘Pedagogy’ that refers to traditional school based education for children in the age group of 11 to 18 years.
The characteristic features of adult education are the following:

  1. Adult education is self reliant:

Education for adults does not mostly rely on help from others but it is self reliant. The adult motivates himself to study further rather than any outside push factor.

  1. Adult education is learning through experience:

Because the student who is an adult also brings in years of rich experience, it aids him and other students in acquiring further knowledge. In a way it is like building blocks where the strong foundation is already available.

  1. The readiness to acquire knowledge is imminent and linked to the desire for learning:

This is self explanatory. The adult is there only because he needs to know it. The motivation factor is from within. The aim of the education for the adult is problem solving rather than over burdening himself with too many concepts and theories.
Is Adult education different from the education of children?
Yes, of course. The processes and the aids used in adult education will vary deeply from the aids that are used for educating children. Children do not have the experience that adults bring to a course. Besides, the idea to study further for an adult may be to re-equip himself to do his job better or to acquire a newer skill or technology.
A Case study:
In 1990s, when computers were taking over the office space, a lot of men and women who had been working for well over a few decades joined computer courses that enabled them to become familiar with the user interface. These students were driven from within to take the course to be able to operate the computers which were slowly replacing manual entering of data and processing of such data.
Some of the adults were also driven by the fact that an extra certification course in the knowledge of computers could help them get a promotion that they were eyeing or to earn a higher and handsome package.
Is adult education a systematic form of Education?
Adult education is systematic and imbibes newer forms of knowledge as well as skills. The form of adult education may vary from place to place and also from person to person.
Adult learning can be in any one of the three forms:

  1. Formal:

Formal adult education happens in an institution like place which is certified and credited by the local government. The course will have a pre set curriculum to follow and basic projects and assessments to be completed. The program may also carry credits and certifications.

  1. Non formal:

Non formal adult education could be facilitated by institutions but they may not have a set curriculum or credentials to offer. They fill the gap by providing adults with the opportunities to learn a skill or acquire a set of knowledge without any certifications. The programs carried by various Civil Society Organizations will fall into this category.

  1. Informal:

Informal adult education can be broadly classified as the learning and acquiring of skills that happen consciously or unconsciously by the adult. The activities revolve around everyday activities and chores and they do not have any fixed venues and precincts nor any curriculum to strictly abide with.

Example of this kind of education is attending a cookery class which is held at the community hall where the neighbors and their friends attend.   

A second chance for school dropouts:
In most parts of the world where adult education is common, it is regarded as a ‘second chance’ for people who may have for various reasons quit school half way or dropped out of education due to loss of interest in academics. These people have the ‘golden chance’ to get back to school and complete their certification or their degree. Check out this for further details about how to get adderall prescribed.
Adult education can be very flexible in terms of timing as the classes can be held in the evenings after the work hours or during the weekends as most adults cannot and do not have the luxury to quit their jobs and go back to school.
Role of adult education in increasing job prospects:
Adults with poor language reading skills may also benefit from the adult education programs that the government and other non-governmental literacy agencies offer. The qualification of a person is directly linked to his worthiness in the job market and therefore adult education could give him an impetus to get a better job after acquiring some skills from it.
The goal of adult education:
Broadly speaking, the goals of adult education may be classified as

  1. Personal

The adult may want to acquire education to fulfill his basic needs or even for his own satisfaction. He may have wanted to acquire a set of skills when he was younger but due to his family commitments he could not have been able to do it then. Adult education allows him to fulfill his dream and ambition later when he feels that he has completed his commitments.

  1. Organizational

Adult education may also be preferred for the improvement in the skills of the person that may result in increase of his efficiency at work and in the long run prove beneficial for the organization that he works for. For example, the management of the company may ensure that the employee is abreast with all the latest developments in the field of computer science and software development if that will help in the organizations goals.

  1. Social

It has been felt time and again by policy makers and legislators that the growth of adult education is an indicator of maintaining good order in the society. It enables the adults to learn newer skills and keep up with the societal changes that happen around them.

Adult education is important from all angles especially from the society’s point of view because after all a society that consists of learned and educated members is one that will be broad minded and can usher in positive changes.


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