by Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger, BellaOnline
The old method of teachers instructing students has morphed into more of a shared learning environment. The new teaching and learning theory is called andragogy, or adult-leading, as opposed to pedagogy, or child-leading, according to American educator Malcolm Knowles. Key attributes associated with adult learners are motivation fueled by a need to know, an acquired foundation of experience, self-concept, and a readiness or willingness to learn. Teaching methodologies tailored for andragogy are quite common at the college level, particularly in distance and online learning environments, because many students today are already working full-time jobs and hope to acquire higher positions by gaining advanced degrees. These adult students seek the most efficient and time-saving methods for furthering their educations, and distance learning is at the top of the list.
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