Andragogy and pedagogy – What’s the difference?

  • Training management

We know more about pedagogy, which is defined as the science of teaching children. Andragogy, on the other hand, is less known, but also important. This is the science of adult education.

There are several differences between pedagogy and andragogy and they must be taken into consideration to ensure that each learner acquires as much new knowledge as possible.

The usefulness of training in the foreground

In children, learning is for later, while in adults, it is for now. This means that adults must know the usefulness of learning for their current needs and understand how to apply it in their current work context.

Examples from learners’ past experiences

The child has limited experience. In return, the adult has a complete, diverse and integrated experience. The trainer must then adapt his teaching according to the experiences of the adult learner. He must use it to give examples related to this experience and even ask the learner to share his experience, which will value him and teach the rest of the group at the same time.

The value of time

The child perceives time as an unlimited resource, while in the adult, time is precious and must be maximized. As a trainer, we therefore must ensure that the adult learner is aware that training is not a waste of time. Often, by understanding the purpose and usefulness of training, the adult will associate the potential time saving in his current and future reality.

Supporting adult learners in the process of change

We tend to believe that adults are more accustomed to change than children by the multitude of their experiences and diversity in their life path. But think again, it is the child who adapts more easily to the novelty. The adult, on the other hand, will be more resistant to change, because he has put time and a lot of energy to build methods that work very well for him. It will then be more difficult to present him with different ways of working, it could even destabilize him. It is therefore important to clearly target the needs and explain the objectives of the training to the adult learner in order to reduce fears and promote openness to change.

Practice, practice, practice

As trainers, we must also be aware that the adult learns in action, so it is essential to involve the learner so that he actively participates in the training (open questions, practical exercises, exchanges between participants, quizzes, etc.). In his book Les méthodes actives dans la pédagogie des adultes, Roger Mucchielli (1988) points out that adults remember:

  • 10% of what they read;
  • 20% of what they hear;
  • 30% of what they see;
  • 50% of what they see and hear at the same time;
  • 80% of what they say;
  • 90% of what they say and do

The Sylbert team: the adult learner at the heart of the training

The Sylbert team takes an adult learner-centric approach by offering short, hands-on training workshops on Microsoft© productivity tools. Sylbert trainers regularly update their andragogical skills and have carte blanche to adapt the trainings according to the needs and context of the participants. In addition, each of our training courses is developed to allow the learner to save time and facilitate his work. To support the learner in the change, an unlimited online support service lasting 6 months is offered free of charge with each of our trainings. (See our FAQ for more information)

In conclusion, for an effective and appreciated training, the adult must be motivated, he must know the usefulness and objectives of the training, he must not have the impression of wasting his time, he must be reassured, feel confident and often be in action.

For more information on our training offers, do not hesitate to visit our website

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