andragogy literature review oscar guajardo

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Designing a Program for Adult Learners Using Knowles’ Andragogy Your name Commented On Amanda Filbert’s “Creating Self- Oscar Guajardo directed Learners for Life” Introduction It seems that for many years there has been a search or exploration of a theory that best explai
  Designing a Program for Adult Learners Using Knowles’  Andragogy Your name Commented On Oscar Guajardo Amanda Filbert’s “Creating Self  - directed Learners for Life”   Introduction  It seems that for many years there has been a search or exploration of a theory that best explains how adults learn. It also seems that among educational professionals the best “know of these efforts is andragogy   a concept introduced from Europe in a 1968 article” (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007). Andragogy incorporates a set of adult learning assumptions or  principles that serve as the basis for the designing of adult education programs and the delivery of training (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2014). The objective of A ndragogy’s Theory is to create learning environments that are suitable for the adult learner (different than pedagogical methods) in order to influence or captivate students. However, it is also the objective to establish the educator as a facilitator instead of teacher figure which should be involved in keeping a sense of balance between student’s interests and knowledge. According to Gittermann, educators “must provide the conditions which facilitate opportunities for students to bridge personal experiences and styles” to what is being learned (p. 101). The Adult Learner   defines the Andragogy in Practice Model as a framework to apply Andragogy from one area of the adult learning to another. Although, the model theoretically incorporates contextual analysis that has been developed through years of research, the core basic principles still there (p. 148): Adults learners have the ability and need to be self-directing/autonomous; adult learners’ experiences are a source of learning; adults learn what is relevant and is going to assist them with real tasks and problems and must have a benefit; and, adult learners are  motivated by a variety of internal reasons, such as self-esteem, achievement, curiosity, or satisfaction (Knowles, 1975). These principles or assumptions are the foundation upon which educators should design a program for adult learning. Below there is a summary of the four main assumptions or principles followed by suggestions on how to apply it in the classroom. General Themes   Adult Learners are Self-Directing or Autonomous . Adults have a “self  -concept of being responsible for their decisions, for their lives” and once they have reached that psychological insight they need to be seen and treated as someone autonomous and self-directing (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2014). Therefore, in order to respect that autonomy and self-direction, educators, need to create a “supportive and trusting psychological and social” environment where the adult learner feels “respected and trusted by the instructor, [so as to] more readily respect and trust eac h other” ( McGrath, 2009, p. 102). Adults also have hopes and needs that need to be met, and they have the free will to make them happen. Andragogy’s Theory maintains that adult learners are adapted to being autonomous and self-directed in order to accomplish their educational expectations and wants  –   with the guidance of a facilitator or a mentor. According to Malcol m Knowles, “self  - directed learning” is a process:   “… in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes (1975, p.18). Adult Learners’ Experiences are a Source of Learning . Under this principle, “ andragogy is  based on is the experience of the learner and the role that it plays in the classroom” ( McGrath, 2009, p. 103). The assumption is that adult learners bring plenty of life experiences with them   but may not know how to manage to use them. Life experiences “ can be a valuable resource to the learner as well as to [the educator]. It needs to be valued a nd used in the learning process” (Knowles et. al, 2014, p. 294). Learning experiences are “never just isolated events in time”; instead, “learners must connect what they have learned from current experiences to those in the  past as well as seen possible future implications” (Merriam et. al, 2007, p. 162) . Educators should encourage learners to relate or connect those experiences to current knowledge or activities. But, they must facilitate how to tap into them appropriately because not doing so may cause negative effects. As we grow into an adult, along with experiences “we tend to develop mental habits, biases, and presuppositions that tend to cause us to close our minds to new ideas, fresh perceptions, and alternative ways of thinking (Knowles et. al, 2014, p. 66). Adults Learn what is Relevant and What Benefits Them. As stated before, adults have hopes and needs that need to be met and therefore motivated to learn. In view of that, adult learning needs to be “problem - focused” or “task  - centered”. Knowles claims that there is substantial indication that adults w ho are proactive learners “ enter into learning more purposefully and with greater motivation. They also tend to retain and make use of what they learn better and longer than do the reactive learners ”  (Knowles, 1975, p. 14). However, adult learners want a practical learning application as quickly as possible and the activities and exercises need to have relevance and benefit to the need of the student. Adults learners are “motivated to learn to the extent that they perceive that learning will help them perform tasks or deal with problems that they confront in their life situations” (Knowles et. al, 2014, p. 67). Therefore, one of the best ways for them to learn is by presenting the assigned activities or tasks in the framework of real-life situation or  problems and correlating them to their own learning goals. Moreover, adult learners that are gaining something and that some progress is being made.  Adult Learners are Motivated by a Variety of Internal Reasons . As stated before, once an adult learner has reached the self-concept of being responsible for their decisions and need to be treated as autonomous and self- directing, they “resent and resist situations in which they feel others are imposing their wills on them” (Knowles et. al, 2014, p. 65). Adult learners then have something to lose  –   their willingness and their desire to accomplish their hopes and dreams  become their motivation. Adult learners have a fervent need to maintain their self-esteem, their self-respect, their self-actualization, their self-identity, to feel that someone is listening, to get some acknowledgment, or to get a better quality of life; and to them, those are internal factors that matter most. “External factors”, such as bonuses form their employers , a promotion or a  better job position, are less important (Knowles et. al, 2014, p. 295). This assumption takes us  back to the affirmation that stating that educators need to create a “supportive and trusting” environment where an adult can feel comfortable with the learning process. Finally, according to McGra th, andragogy is extremely grounded “on the fact that students want to participate in [learning] and in order to participate they must be motivated” (p. 106). Implications   As stated by McGrath, the objective of andragogy is “ to look at how learning in the classroom can be made more attractive to adult students ” (p. 109) . For that reason, it is crucial that educators are aware of the foundation assumption or principles and incorporate them into the design of adult education programs. Educators, as we established before, should not be a “teacher figure” but a partner, a facilitator, a mentor who should be “involved in keeping a sense of balance between student’s interests and knowledge”. Self-Directing and Autonomy . According to Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, citing Malcol m Knowles, “the classroom climate should be one of adultness, both physically and
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