Adult Learning

Andragogy Versus Pedagogy or from Pedagogy to Andragogy

Authored by: Peter Jarvis

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415571302
eBook ISBN: 9780203357385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136598562


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In 1970 Malcolm Knowles wrote The Modern Practice of Adult Education and he subtitled it andragogy versus pedagogy, but, as a result of the discussion that followed, he changed the sub-title in the second edition of the book in 1980 to from pedagogy to andragogy. The question is, which of these is right, if either? The argument of this chapter is that, as we have learned more about human learning, there is a sense in which neither was really right. While this chapter might be reviving an old debate, it is not the history of the debate that really interests us here, but the advances in learning theory that have occurred during the past quarter of a century and the new light they throw on an old debate. In order to do this, we will briefly review that debate and then show how we think that it can be finally resolved.

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