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Pedagogy vs Andragogy: Learning Strategy Comparison


Learning is a never-ending process. Whether you measure learning from the moment a child learns to walk or the moment they graduate from school or the moment they invent something new. All these stages will instill some knowledge in an individual. In this blog, we will understand pedagogy vs andragogy in detail.

The key point is that learning is a continuous process that is not age-based. However, a child's learning process differs from an adult's learning process. Both have their way of learning and it differs for every individual. Children need unique teaching-learning methodologies. The terms "pedagogy vs andragogy" are reflections of one another.

What is Pedagogy?

Pedagogy is the study of teaching strategies and how they impact students. To assist students to learn more effectively and help them acquire high-order thinking skills, pedagogy must be well thought out. There are four common types of pedagogy: social, critical, culturally responsive, and Socratic. Social pedagogy supports social development through education. Critical pedagogy undermines normative ideas (developing intellectual and social skills to live in a democratic society).

What is Andragogy?

It is also known as the Adult Learning Theory. The term andragogy can be compared to the word pedagogy. In contrast to pedagogy, which is translated as “leading children” in Greek, andragogy means “leading men”. It should be emphasized that the term andragogy was coined in 1833 by German educator Alexander Kapp, but the term pedagogy has been in use since the time of the Ancient Greeks.

Pedagogy vs Andragogy: 5 Main Differences

Let us break down these terms, as they have been derived from Greek words.

  • Paidi (Child) & Ago (Guide) = Pedagogy
  • Andras (Adult) & Ago (Guide) = Andragogy

The major differences between pedagogy and andragogy learning strategies have been discussed below.

Learning behavior

For learning behavior in pedagogy vs andragogy, adult learners are self-directed, in charge of their learning process, and entirely responsible for their learning. Since they are aware of the knowledge they wish to obtain, they are also heavily involved in planning as well as evaluating their learning process. On the other hand, young learners are not independent; they still rely on their teachers for guidance. As a result, their teachers should be in charge of not just what is taught but also how it is taught and assessed.

The role of learners’ experience

Adults have more experiential learning than children. Since adults have varied experiences in their life, they learn through their experiences and bring a lot to the plate. Their experience contributes a lot to their identity. Conversely, as young learners typically lack personal experience, they can't learn through experiences and it cannot be used as a learning resource, rather it can be used to build upon.

Orientation to learning

Regarding orientation to learning in pedagogy vs andragogy, what topics or subjects interest adult learners the most? Adult learners naturally look for knowledge that can help them in their personal and professional lives. This audience demands that their education will improve their performance levels and enable them to live better, more fulfilling lives. They also require that their education be relevant to their real-life issues, problems, and duties. The learning of young audiences, on the other hand, is subject-centered, which means that the subject defines the order in which the learning content units will be given and taught.

Readiness to learn

Anything can make an adult learner ready to learn, including a sudden shift in their circumstances, the need to handle daily activities and difficulties more effectively, the desire for self-development, and so on. Adults need to understand why they are learning anything before they can get started. Children, on the other hand, are typically given what to learn, to hone their talents to advance to the next level of expertise.

Motivation for learning

Understanding the motivation behind learning is key to understanding pedagogy vs andragogy. What encourages adults to make time in their hectic schedule for learning? Adult learners are motivated to learn primarily by intrinsic motivations, including self-esteem, self-confidence, the desire for a higher quality of life, curiosity, self-development, and acknowledgment. Intrinsic motivation is far stronger than extrinsic motivation, and as a result, adult learners tend to be more content with their learning process, more concentrated, tenacious, and willing to apply their knowledge more frequently and successfully than younger learners. Children and teenagers, on the other hand, are typically motivated by extrinsic reasons, such as receiving good grades or other benefits or avoiding the negative effects of failing.

Importance of Pedagogy in Learning

Following are the importance of pedagogy in learning.

  • Improves quality of education - The effectiveness of education can be improved by using a student-centered approach in the classroom. It enables them to assume whole responsibility for their learning.
  • Harnesses team learning - Students might be inspired to accomplish a predetermined goal by pedagogy in learning. Students can interact with others who share their interests in this way, and they can also pick up new ideas from other students.

Importance of Andragogy in Learning

  • Promotes flexibility in learning - You may encourage more learning autonomy for your staff by keeping andragogy in mind when planning training and development. They can understand that training is not only necessary but also provide a chance to advance their skills.
  • Provides readily applicable lessons - In the theory of adult learning, the learner's experiences are taken into account while determining the method of instruction. Your learners will have a variety of experiences, depending on their backgrounds, lifestyles, ages, and other circumstances, therefore as an L&D leader, you must be aware of this. These will have an impact on their attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of learning.


Regardless of the audience's age, should you use the same instructional design methods and learning techniques in all of your classes? Do adults and children learn in the same ways? Certainly not. In this article, we have understood what is pedagogy and andragogy. We also gained insights regarding pedagogy vs andragogy.

Both andragogy and pedagogy are crucial learning stages in an individual’s life. While andragogy is something that develops a child's knowledge and behavior, it is something that occurs later in human life.

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Suggested Read: How Digital Content Enhance the Learning Experience of Students

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