Andragogy. Also known as adult learning.
I’ve always had a strong passion to learn and can remember being a very determined child growing up. I also thrived in a school environment and was always looking to learn new things. One of my fondest memories is when I was around six years old and I had this sudden desire to learn how to tie my running shoes. I must’ve sat there for a good hour practicing over and over until I got it and let me tell you, it was an amazing feeling when I finally did it!
Today I still have that same determination to learn, but the way I learned as a child is drastically different from how I learn as an adult. In my younger years, I acquired information from reading and researching, developed new skills through repetition and practice, and listening to my teachers and family.
Fast forward to my 30s, I still enjoy reading but it’s more for pleasure than gaining knowledge.
And I am continuously expanding my skillset but instead of repetition and practice, I prefer to learn from experience and by engaging with colleagues and other professionals.
So why has there been a shift in the way I learn? According to Malcom Shepard Knowles, an American educator known for the term andragogy (adult education), there are many differences in the way children and adults learn. Included below are his five assumptions of adult learning:
As a person matures his/her self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being.