What is andragogy?

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Andragogy is the art and science of helping adults learn. (Knowles 1970)


Andragogy is based on four crucial assumptions about the characteristics of adult learners that are different from the assumptions about child learners.


As persons mature,

  • their self concept moves from being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directing human being
  • they accumulate a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning
  • their readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of their social roles, and
  • their time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application.

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Page content last modified: 28 June 1999

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