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The Trainer's Handbook by Karen Lawson

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Chapter 2Understanding Adult Learners

Andragogical versus Pedagogical Model

People have been brought up on the pedagogical model of learning that has dominated education and training for centuries. Because that has been the standard, people use that approach when they are asked to teach or train others. In brief, the pedagogical model makes the following assumptions:

  • The teacher is responsible for the learning process, including what and how learners learn. The learner's role is passive.
  • Because the learner has little experience, the teacher is the expert, the guru, and it is his or her responsibility to impart his or her wealth of knowledge. This amounts to an “information dump” through traditional means such as lecture, textbooks, manuals, and videos in which other “experts” share their knowledge and experience.
  • People are motivated to learn because they “have to” in order to pass a test, advance to the next level, or earn certification.
  • Learning is information-centered. The teacher “covers” the material so that the learner can acquire the prescribed information in some type of logical order.
  • Motivation to learn is largely external. Pressure from authority figures and fear of negative consequences drive the learner. The teacher, in essence, controls ...

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