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Adult Education(Any Subject of it) - Book Report/Review Example

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For the purpose of the present review, the journal article – Andragogys Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of Andragogy and its Search for a Measurable Instrument (Taylor & Kroth 1) was chosen. The article is a research paper that offers a meta-analytic review of…
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19 January Andragogys Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of Andragogy and its Search for a Measurable Instrument – A Review
For the purpose of the present review, the journal article – Andragogys Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of Andragogy and its Search for a Measurable Instrument (Taylor & Kroth 1) was chosen. The article is a research paper that offers a meta-analytic review of published literature on adult education, specifically, Andragogy. Of the innumerable research articles available on the subject, this particular paper was selected because it not only explores the concept, history, assumptions and criticisms of adult education, but also makes the reader aware of the need for the creation and development of an instrument that would enable the measurement of the extent to which andragogical assumptions and principles are actually being employed in instructional settings.
The authors begin with a brief and exhaustive introduction to the concept of andragogy, right from its inception in the 1800s until the modern synthesis of the concept by Malcolm Knowles in the 2000s. According to the authors, andragogy has been criticized as it "lacks the fundamental characteristics of a science because of the limited empirical evidence produced" (Taylor & Kroth 2). They therefore seek to examine the three areas of andragogy, namely – its Concept & History, its Assumptions, and its Criticisms, to establish the foundation for the "creation of an instrument to provide measurable data on the assumptions put forth by Malcolm Knowles" (Taylor & Kroth 2). Taylor and Kroth performed an integrative review of literature on seminal books on both andragogy and pedagogy. They then carried out a cross-referencing of the bibliographies of the reviewed literature. They also carried out a review of dissertations and published articles on the subject, through which the foundation for the creation of the proposed "instrument" was laid. The authors assert that the review of literature revealed a lack of a testable model for andragogical assumptions, and so, there is an urgent need for a "measurable instrument".
Taylor and Kroth summarize Knowles six assumptions of andragogy, namely – self-concept, experience, readiness to learn, orientation to learn, motivation to learn and the need to know. These assumptions govern the principles of andragogy. However, andragogy by itself is not a science, and empirical studies on the subject are lacking. Taylor and Kroth list out four major obstacles that limit the possibility of testing andragogy to produce empirical evidence. Accordingly, the first major obstacle is the ambiguity of whether andragogy is "a theory of adult learning". Secondly, there is a lack of clarity on what procedures count as good andragogical practices. Thirdly, it is difficult to estimate whether certain andragogical practices are effective and are resulting in beneficial results. And lastly, the basic assumptions of andragogy are at question because it is difficult to ascertain which characteristics of learners are adult-centric and which are child-centric. To account for these criticisms, Taylor and Kroth propose an instrument to measure whether instructors are applying andragogical assumptions. This instrument would have two purposes, firstly, to offer a tool for instructors to assess andragogical learning, and secondly, to guide scholars in assessing andragogy in both formal and informal adult instructional settings.
In their paper, Taylor and Kroth have dealt with a topic that has remained elusive ever since the inception of andragogy. While immense advancements have occurred in the field, the lack of a testable instrument to measure andragogical assumptions questions the efficacy of the practice of andragogy itself. This study therefore serves as an eye-opener for instructors and practitioners of adult education, encouraging them to delve deeper into the scientific and empirical aspects of the practice.

Works Cited
Taylor, Bryan and Michael Kroth. "Andragogy’s Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of Andragogy and Its Search for a Measurable Instrument." Journal of Adult Education 38.1 (2009): 1-11. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <>Read More
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