Similarities and Differences between Pedagogy and Andragogy

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Pedagogy and andragogy are common concepts in the education sector. However, scholars have focused on understanding the two concepts as well as outlining the similarities and differences governing their application in the education sector. Pedagogy denotes a child-focused teaching approach while andragogy refers to the teaching approach tailored to suit adult learners (Wang & IGI Global, 2012). In both cases, the teaching approaches seek to help learners to register desirable learning outcomes. Over the years, researchers demonstrated that there is a significant difference between a child and adult learners. As a result, there is a need for having two different approaches that conform to the needs of both child and adult learners. This paper will explore the similarities and differences between pedagogy and andragogy.

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Both pedagogy and andragogy have certain similarities as teaching approaches. They seek to register transformative learning among the students. Despite the age of the learners, the main objective of an effective teaching approach is to register transformative learning by creating a favorable learning environment. As a result, both pedagogy and andragogy emphasize the need for a supportive learning environment that can help both child and adult learners to explore their full potential (Wang & Bryan, 2014). Transformative learning ensures that the life of the learner improves with increased learning. Both child and adult learners are bound to register significant improvements in after successive learning sessions. Both pedagogy and andragogy focus on a successful evaluation of the achievements of the learner. After the teaching session, it is imperative to assess the achievements of the learners. In both approaches, assessment is of paramount significance.

However, there are numerous differences between pedagogy and andragogy. Specifically, pedagogy is suitable for child learners who are highly dependent on the teacher. Child learners cannot undertake self-directed learning and rely on the efforts of the instructor. On the other hand, andragogy focuses on adult learners who can take up personal responsibilities in learning through self-directed learning (Wang & IGI Global, 2012). Additionally, pedagogy and andragogy represent various roles of the learner’s experiences. Child learners have limited experience that they bring into learning. As a result, the instructor may rely on personal experience to influence the learning process of the students when using pedagogy. The case is different when handling adult learners who have a diverse range of experience that they apply throughout the learning process. Adult learners associate their experiences with different concepts in the classroom.

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Other differences between pedagogy and andragogy emerge as a result of the changes in orientation to learning that occur as an individual matures. For children, the subject approach is more relevant while adult learners can handle learning that involves real-life problems. Adult learners have greater motivation for learning due to their well-developed self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness. On the other hand, child learners require external sources of motivation so that they can succeed in learning (Wang & Bryan, 2014). In pedagogy, the instructor must fully diagnose the needs of the learners. However, handling adult learners allows for self-diagnosis among learners or a mutual process of understanding learner needs.


It is explicit that pedagogy and andragogy have certain similarities and differences. While both approaches represent significant methods of helping learners to achieve their goals, they have certain differences. Andragogy emerged after the realization of the different principles that govern adult learning. Adult learners exhibit internal motivation, self-direction, goal orientation, as well as a practical approach to learning (Wang & IGI Global, 2012). Adults are likely to apply their experiences to the learning process. Child learners lack self-direction, motivation, or goal orientation. The instructor must help them through the application of different pedagogical techniques.

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  1. Wang, V. C. X., & IGI Global. (2012). Pedagogical and andragogical teaching and learning with information communication technologies. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA.
  2. Wang, V. C. X., & Bryan, V. C. (2014). Andragogical and pedagogical methods for curriculum and program development. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
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