The term “andragogy” is used as a synonym for adult education. This neologism is forged on the model of the pedagogy: the word pedagogy, being borrowed from the Greek paidagogia is composed of paidos, “child” and “agogos” to lead (the peedagogue is etymologically the slave responsible for taking a child to school).
Similarly, the term “andragogie” was invented, using the root “Aner” (andros), meaning “a man,” or “human male.” Etymologically, andragogy, therefore, only refers to a formation of man as opposed to woman. This semantic ambiguity makes the use of the term problematic. The language user anxious to make it clear, prefers the term “adult education.”
Adult education has grown significantly since the 1980s with the development of continuing education using the concepts of “lifelong learning” and “conversion.”
The number of definitions for adult education is big enough. This is due to the relative newness of the concept. But in general, the term implies: Education allows to change the behavior.
This definition shows a strong link between behavior and training. Changing behavior requires resorting to an action phase as a medium of behavior and awareness, as an intellectual way to modify one’s behavior.
The concept of “own worlds” is quite interesting as an explanatory model for this approach. Indeed, the action allows the learner to affect his environment, as the environment is the same affect the learner. This is the concept of autopoiesis applied to adult education, that is to say, the ability of a system (learner, environment) to stand on his own as a training process.
This implies that the trainer is nothing more than a benefactor, a coach, and a creator of the learning environment that allows the learner to train himself. Especially since this is the only way for him to do so, in fact, the trainer cannot “implant” the know-how in the mind of the learner. He can only deploy a space conducive to the acquisition of new behaviors, which he wants to induce the person he wants to train and do everything for them to be effective.
This concept, relatively new in the field of science education, is probably one of the most important and most interesting insights that can be found on the analysis of behavior and learning. It is in the spirit of replacing cognitive science currently dominant in the field of education in general.
Writing a decent research proposal on andragogy requires a solid knowledge on the issue. The students, who have chosen the topic for their research project, have to find a reliable source of a relevant data and process it to the results.
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