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Teaching and learning theories 1

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  • 1. Teaching and Learning Theories
  • 2. Andragogy Malcolm Knowles (1990) introduces the concept of andragogy, "the art and science of helping adults learn." He contrasts andragogy to the more traditional pedagogy, which he argues is not always appropriate for teaching adults on the basis of crucial assumptions about the characteristics of adult learners that are different from the assumptions about child learners on which traditional pedagogy is based.
  • 3. The different assumptions of pedagogy and andragogy Differentiate between pedagogy and andragogy based on Knowles’ different assumptions about learners across six dimensions The learner’s need to know The learner’s self concept The role of the Learner’s experience The learner’s readiness to learn The learner’s orientation to learning The learner’s motivation
  • 4. From this understanding of Andragogy, Knowles proposes Process Model of Human Resources Development and the use of Learning Contracts
  • 5. Criticisms of Knowles’ Theory Based largely on Humanistic values – should therefore apply to children as well as adults Many adult learners find it difficult to un-learn their dependence on “teacher” Considerable time is needed to develop self direction in learning Adult learners quickly revert to a child like approach when learning something new Although with more life experiences to draw on, this does not necessarily mean that the adult learner brings a better quality of experience to their learning Most telling criticism is that Knowles ignores the power of social forces in education (Quinn, 2000)
  • 6. The Experiential Approach to Adult Learning Learning by doing as opposed by reading! This approach is characterised by active involvement and interaction in the learning process, where the learner has some degree of autonomy and flexibility and what needs to be learned is centred on the student. Major exponent = David Kolb (1984) proposed the Kolb Learning Cycle (or the Lewinian Experiential Learning Model)
  • 7. The Experiential Approach to Adult Learning cont… In this process, students engage and immerse themselves fully in novel experiences. They then observe and reflect on experiences from a variety of perspectives. The student then creates concepts that integrate their observations into logical theories. The student then applies these observations in decision making and problem solving.
  • 8. Reflective Practice It was Donald Schon in the mid 1980s who firmly placed Reflection as a concept of interest to professional practice on the agenda. His focus is the relationship which exists between academic knowledge as defined by universities and the competence involved in professional practice. A number of strategies for reflecting on practice are offered by a variety of writers (eg Johns (1992) Model of Structured Reflection; Gibbs’ (1988) Reflective Cycle).
  • 9. Reflective Practice cont… The notion of Critical Incident Analysis (Benner (1984) and Wood (1998) also comes under this umbrella and is still highly valued as a means of making sense of experiences.
  • 10. What about your own learning style? From a professional and educational perspective, consult some of the following theorists. Honey’s (1982) learning styles Activist – open to new experiences egocentric, impulsive, sociable Reflectors – cautious, observers Theorists – logical, rational, like systems and theories Pragmatists – impatient, like new ideas, like to apply new ideas as quickly as possible
  • 11. What about your own learning style? Cont… Kolb’s learning style inventory (1976) Converger – focuses on single answers, Diverger – produces vast amount of ideas Assimilator – creates theory Accommodator – carries out plans and experiments
  • 12. Question for discussion How can this information help or hinder us in our work with students?

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