Andragogy and Self-Directed Learning

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Andragogy and Self Directed Learning
March 10, 2008
Adult Education and Learning: Principles and Practice
Andragogy and Self-Directed Learning: Pillars of Adult Learning Theory

Candy's written statement (1991, p.309) which reads “since a learner's autonomy is likely to vary from situation to situation, educators should not assume that because a person has been self-directed in one situation, he or she will be able to succeed in a new area: Orientation, support and guidance may all be required in the first stages of a learning project”, was a highlight for me. As I read through this article it seems as though to much emphasis was being placed on who was right and who was wrong about their theory. In all actuality theories are evolutionary just as learners in adult education are; therefore, all of the theories were probably applicable during the time in which it was established, for the most part. Now Candy comes along and writes this statement in which I agree with, wholeheartedly. I do so, because I can think of instances were I prefer to be a self-directed learned, but thats only when I want to know something miscellaneous; however, primarily, by nature, I am a dependent learner with a concrete sequential learning style. I need explicit directions before feeling comfortable with going forth with a task. To me self-directed learning puts me in the mindset of on line courses, in which, I would never subject myself to, unless it was absolutely necessary. I need the teacher directed, concrete experience of being in a classroom and learning from discussion, feedback and interpretation, something that I just do not feel I would get from and on line course per se.

Insight for me is the mere fact that the methodology behind teaching adult learners is so widely debated. I never actually took the time to think about how someone should educate me as an adult. However, now that I am an adult learner, I am extremely thankful that someone did take the time to...
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