Week 4 – Jane – What is an Adult?

I was interested to read about heutagogy. I am currently doing my EdD in Adult Education and was introduced to andragogy which I am embarrassed to admit I had not come across before. I am surprised that this term was not introduced to me in the EdD readings so I am looking forward to throwing it into the conversation in my next class! “What you haven’t heard about heutagogy?”

According to Lisa Marie Blaschke (2012) it is “a form of self-determined learning…[where] learners are highly autonomous and self-determined and emphasis is placed on development of learner capability, with the goal of producing learners who are well-prepared for the complexities of today’s workforce”.

Andragogy

  • self-directed learning
  • develop competency
  • curriculum, discussions, assessment designed by learner

Heutagogy

  • self-determined learning
  • develop capability
  • curriculum, discussions, assessment designed by instructor
  • reflective

So the question is, would my students be able to design their own learning and would they want to? Blaschke states , “Distance education and heutagogy … have in common the same audience, mature adult learners”. By this she means the non-traditional, older, working adults with significant life experience. Does an 18 year old know what they need to know and would they know how to know it? I am sure many would and it is a good skill to develop but I am doubtful whether this would be highly successful when my leaners are on the other side of the planet. In addition, many of the learners I teach come from a very teacher centered system so this is something that would take time to develop. Now this is not to say it is something that has no value. I specifically like the reflection that goes on in heutagogy and this is something I already incorporate in my onsite classes (English 101). In addition, I have students design class activates where they are given a very general topic (such as “America in World War 2” and they have to choose a small section about that topic they are interested in and design an activity for the class to impart that information (PowerPoint NOT allowed, it must be something interactive and fun). So it’s like “creativity within constraint”. I am still not sure how this would work online and with a VERY different class (“grammar”). I need to think some more about this!

1 thought on “Week 4 – Jane – What is an Adult?

  1. What strikes me most about your post is how many factors have to be taken in to consideration when looking at theories, designing approaches to courses, and blending methods of learning/delivering content. Students get so tired of me saying this but honestly throughout life whatever you do – YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. It applies across the board. Some of the challenges or considerations you have to keep in mind don’t even cross my mind because my audience is so different. I love seeing what everyone is doing for the fact alone.

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