Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Many educationalists, and even some corporate learning and development professionals, talk a lot about pedagogy. From the classical Greek, this literally means “leading the child”, but it is widely understood, in educational circles, including further and higher education (i.e., education that is not for children) to refer to underlying theory of learning, including understanding how children/people learn, and how to design learning for best effect.

In the 1940s, the American educationalist Malcolm Knowles proposed a new theory of andragogy – “leading the man” – which highlighted the different ways in which adults, as distinct from children, learn.

In the last decade, Australian academic Stewart Hase has advocated a new theory, heutagogy – “leading the self” – which shifts the emphasis to self-directed learning, in keeping with recent moves towards more learner-centred learning.

Simpler language, eschewing debate about rival theories, and focusing on the practical application of pedagogy/andragogy/heutagogy, is learning design.

There's some useful discussion of this in Sam Chapnick and Jimm Meloy's excellent book, Renaissance eLearning: creating dramatic and unconventional learning experiences, Chapter 3, ‘From Andragogy to Heutagogy’.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Ken

The present day feelings about pedagogy are that there is no panacea. It tends to revert to Piaget's work, which though it is associated with 'leading the child' is much wider than that as you pointed out - leading the learner.

And here lies the crux of present day pedagogy. The 'underlying theory of learning, including understanding how children/people learn', though part of pedagogy, is no use on its own.

It is in how to 'design learning for best effect' that ties the pedagogy to the individual. In short, different strokes for different folks.

Catchya later

Vukasin B. Vasic said...

May I ask how you would differentiate (if it makes sense) between Blended and Hybrid Learning?

Ken said...

In response to Vukasin B. Vasic, I would have to say I don't come across the term Hybrid Learning very often, but I take it to refer to a programme that mixes more than one form of learning (such as a face-to-face course combined with online learning). Blended Learning can be used the same way, but I take it to mean what learners do when they select learning that suits them: it's almost tautological in that learners often/always do this, but it usually refers to planned programmes that deliberatly mix a variety of inputs. I guess that could also be a definition of Hybrid Learning. If you search earlier posts in this blog, there are a couple that discuss what we mean by Blended learning.