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Education for Adults - Essay Example

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Another approach to understand what the foundation of adult education is to look at other disciplines such as history, sociology, philosophy and psychology to better understand the purpose and the importance of adult education.
Another approach towards the foundation is to understand it as a part of the broader study of education and as a social science…
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Education for Adults
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Download file to see previous pages Andragogy is the process described by Malcolm Knowles, that makes adults take part in the learning experience. He basically developed the study of adult education. Knowles wanted to make a clear distinction between Andragogy and Pedagogy (school based training). He saw adults as more self directed, more mature and experienced therefore he said that their learning was more problem centered rather than subject centered, their readiness to learn is linked to what they need to know and their motivation toward learning is more internal.
Knowles popularized the term "Andragogy", although he was not the first to one use the term. Andragogy first appeared in the writings of a German teacher named Alexander Kapp. Knowles was not the first one to identify the difference between child and adult learning but he was the first one to argue that Andragogy should be distinguished from pedagogy. The acceptance of his ideas may be due to desire at that time in the United States to highlight the growing practice of adult training. it also help differentiating between school teachers and adult teachers.
Now the question is whether Adult education should be termed Andragogy and be treated different from pedagogy or not. In some places like Europe Andragogy is considered to be a part of Pedagogy. Knowles now says that both pedagogy and andragogy are not two opposed models but work parallel. Some people say however that Knowles concept completely ignores the social aspect of the theory. it misses out on the understanding of adult education as a distinctive social activity. (About, 1999)

Reading no.2: The Field of Adult Education
When we look at the field of andragogy and its purpose we tend to ask questions such as: is learning good Is the experience unproblematic What kind of adult education should be promoted in liberal democracy The difference between informal and formal education etc. all these are answered through:

Experiential Learning
Experiential learning focuses on the learning of an individual through his or her experiences. It is a process that cannot be tailored and occurs naturally. However experiential learning is not unproblematic. It can be difficult because people might have to unlearn things that they have known since their existence, things like racism or their own nature. Experiences are constantly interpreted by individuals differently. That means what one experience means a certain individual might mean completely different for another. This kind of learning is seen by many as the essence of adult learning. (Wagner, 2008)

Social Support
All kinds of education including adult education reflect the norms, values and political economy of the society for example, if there is need for more skilled workers in the labor force then the level of education will increase throughout. This interpretation does not apply universally. For example the Scandinavian support for this perspective could emphasize the extent of the power of organized labor and social democracy within countries. Balance of class favors support system.

Formal, Non-formal, and Informal Education
Formal education is what is known as post-secondary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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