Andragogy Analysis

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Andragogy, the principles espoused by Malcolm Knowles as fundamental to adult learning remains the overarching theory that influences many adult education programs and differentiates the practice of teaching children from teaching adults. Knowles centers self-directedness, validation of experience, problem-based learning, intrinsic motivation, and readiness as paramount to successful learning outcomes in adults. Jane Vella elaborates on Knowles' principles with twelve (12) of her own founded on a dialectical education model that privileges teacher-student collaboration as well as teamwork among students. According to Vella, successful instruction incorporates the assessment of student needs, lessons that provide sequence and reinforcement,…show more content…
However, while I recognize their legitimacy and understand the need to make hypotheses about the majority based on observation of a few, I find the focus on self-directed learning and dialogue moderately disconcerting. These theories, although generally valid, do not account for those learners unaccustomed to the American model of primary, secondary, and postsecondary/adult education that oftentimes employs dialectical learning methods. Many English language learners, especially adults, might have had an educational experience founded on what Paulo Freire names the "banking model," where the teacher serves as sole authority while students are the empty vessels who require deposits of knowledge. Although I agree that the "banking model" adversely affects adults by hindering critical thinking, thus perpetuating power imbalance and the disempowerment of individuals from traditionally subordinated groups, Knowles, Vella, and Vygotsky's principles do not account for how teachers and students can facilitate a shift from the "banking model" to instruction designed around problem-posing, self-directedness, and dialogical concepts. Furthermore, as Saville-Troike highlights, Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory mostly ignores the individual learner's efforts and cognitive…show more content…
Accordingly, teachers must not simply provide culturally relevant instruction. They should also be transparent about why this inclusion is important, the relationship between English language dominance and the marginalization of particular communities, and admit that second language acquisition in English esteems a certain type of English over others. Without this, instructors are merely reinforcing a culture that idolizes academic English rather than cultivating problem-posing education that encourages critical thinking and empowers

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