The principles of adult education are quite different from the ideas that are commonly used to teach children in schools (Wegener). The method of teaching a child, where all the relevant knowledge are simply spoon fed to him may not appeal to any adult patient’s learning, nor provide any effective results. Adults are thought to need special considerations that are different from that of children and teens when it comes to learning (Biech).
The concept of andragogy was introduced by Malcolm Knowles in 1968 as “a new label and a new technology” distinguishing adult learning from children’s learning or pedagogy. Knowles’ concept of andragogy “the art and science of helping adults learn … is built upon two central, defining attributes: First, a conception of learners as self directed and autonomous; and second, a concept of the role of the teacher as facilitator of learning rather than present of content” (English, 2005).
As Knowles suggests “perhaps no aspect of andragogy has received so much attention and debate as the premise that adults are self-directed learners” (Knowles et al, 1998, pg. 135).There are two conceptions of self-directed learning: First, self-directed learning is seen as self-teaching, whereby learners are capable of taking control of the mechanics and techniques of teaching themselves in a particular subject; and second, self-directed learning is conceived of as personal autonomy (Knowles et al, 1998, pg. 135).
Andragogy presented six assumptions about the adult learner which provide a sound foundation for planning adult learning experiences. One assumption of andragogy states that adults need to know why they need to learn something before undertaking to learn it. Knowing why they need to learn something is the key to giving adults a sense of volition about their learning. Knowles et al found that when adults undertake to learn something on their own, they will invest considerable energy in probing into the
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