As progressive constructivist or social constructivist lecturers, working with high degrees of autonomy on ‘cool’ courses in progressive Institutes of education, we’d all love to believe in andragogy.
But, as far as we can make out, andragogy is a disputed concept, with a pretty thin theoretical basis (feel free to correct me on this – point me to some decent ‘supportive’ literature on the subject). Also refer to my previous blog entry…
But wait… What differentiates young lads (on the early stages of a trades course for example) from mature students? Surely pedagogical methods are appropriate for one group, whereas andragogical methods are possible with the other group? Surely young fellas on practical courses learn in a different way to mature students? Surely pedagogy is appropriate with young fellas, whereas andragogy is necessary with more ‘adult’ learners?
Or… Maybe it just comes down to appropriate pedagogical approaches? In these cool and progressive times, behaviourism may be a dirty word but perhaps a more behaviourist approach is appropriate for some students? On courses where (as one observer put it) ‘crowd control is a major pedagogical component’, perhaps some constructivist pedagogical approaches might not be so appropriate?