From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 7|No 4|January|1998

Adult Learning

School cultures have not traditionally honored the principles of adult learning. These principles are fully outlined at Adult Learning Theory: A Resource Guide (Teresa Kirkpatrick) URL:

The clearest way to contrast adult learning (often called "andragogy") with pedagogy (instructor directed learing) is to note that adult learning usually involves the learner in activities which match that person's interests, needs, style and developmental readiness.

Fundamental beliefs:

1) The learner may make choices from a rich and varied menu of learning experiences and possibilities.

2) Learners must take responsibility for planning. acting and growing.

If we shift school cultures to support adult learning, professional development is experienced as a personal journey of growth and discovery which engages the learner on a daily and perhaps hourly basis. In the best cases, andragogy includes an emphasis upon self-direction, transformation and experience. One learns by doing and exploring . . . by trying, by failing, by changing and adapting strategies and by overcoming obstacles after many trials.

Online Resources

Practices that Support Teacher Development: Transforming Conceptions of Professional Learning, By Ann Lieberman

Research You Can Use. Close-Up #12. Staff Development. J.S. Chick

Return to Web-Based Staff Development
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