Difference Between Andragogy and Pedagogy

Difference Between Andragogy and Pedagogy

Andragogy and pedagogy are two distinct educational approaches that cater to the educational requirements of adults and children. Pedagogy emphasises a teacher-centred approach in which the teacher imparts knowledge and skills to the students. This strategy is based on a structured curriculum, standardised tests, and explicitly defined learning objectives. Students receive information from the instructor and are expected to assimilate and reproduce it. The pedagogical model provides guidance and support because children and young learners frequently lack the cognitive skills and experiences to direct their learning.

Andragogy, on the other hand, is an adult-oriented, learner-centred approach. Existing life experiences and prior knowledge influence the learning process of adults. Andragogy emphasises self-directed learning, in which students establish their objectives, design their learning experiences, and evaluate their progress. In addition, it emphasises the practical application of knowledge as adult learners seek immediate relevance in their personal and professional lives. In addition, andragogy fosters intrinsic motivation, as adult students frequently pursue education out of personal interests, career advancement, or self-improvement. In short, the primary difference between andragogy and pedagogy rests in their respective learning audiences and approaches. Andragogy is learner-centred and focuses on adult learners and their specific requirements, whereas pedagogy is teacher-centred and caters to children and young learners.

What is Andragogy?

Andragogy is a way of teaching that is designed for adults. It focuses on a learner-centred method that considers adults’ unique qualities and needs as they learn. American educator Malcolm Knowles popularised the word “andragogy” by explaining the key ideas behind this method. First, adults have much life experience and information that affects their learning. These events are useful for both the learner and the teacher because they help them connect new information to what they already know. Second, andragogy emphasises self-directed learning, which means that adults set learning goals, plan their learning experiences, and evaluate their progress. This method encourages independence and allows students to make their education fit their wants and preferences.

Third, adult learners are more interested in how information can be used in the real world. Andragogical methods focus on problem-solving and relevance to the real world so that students can use their skills right away in their personal or work lives. Fourth, people are driven by what they want to do for themselves. They often learn to grow as people, move up in their careers, or improve themselves. Andragogy takes advantage of this drive by allowing learners to explore their hobbies and meet their learning needs. In short, andragogy is a teaching method meant for adults. It uses life experiences, self-direction, practicality, and intrinsic motivation to create an environment centring on the learner and helping them learn and grow.

What is Pedagogy?

Pedagogy is the science and art of teaching, focusing on the methods, tactics, and techniques used to teach children and young learners. Pedagogy comes from the Greek words “paidos,” which means “child,” and “agogos,” which means “leader or guide.” It is the study of how knowledge and skills are taught in an educational setting and the growth of an educator’s professional practice. Pedagogy takes a teacher-centred method, meaning the teacher plans, teaches and evaluates the students’ learning experiences. This method uses a structured programme, clearly stated learning goals, and standardised tests to measure how well students are doing and how far they have come. Teachers lead, help, and teach, while students mostly just listen and repeat what they are told.

Pedagogy aims to create a setting that helps students learn and grow by considering their different needs and preferences. It strongly focuses on the teacher and uses organised curricula, learning goals, and standardised tests. Pedagogical methods often include lectures, demonstrations, and group tasks that help students learn through interaction and working together. Effective pedagogy also includes differentiation, which means adapting teaching methods and tools to each student’s needs, skills, and way of learning. In short, pedagogy is the study and practice of teaching, especially with kids and young students in mind.

Difference Between Andragogy and Pedagogy

Andragogy refers to methods of teaching used with adults, while pedagogy is used with children. Andragogy is a form of education that emphasises the student rather than the content. Pedagogy, on the other hand, is focused on the educator, and it features rigid curricula, well-defined learning goals, and consistent evaluations of student progress. Pedagogy offers direction and assistance, emphasising knowledge absorption and replication, in contrast to the andragogical approach’s focus on autonomy and immediate application to personal or professional circumstances. Whereas pedagogy focuses on young people’s growth and learning patterns, andragogy is designed to meet the specific needs of older students. We’ve highlighted the main distinction between the two here.

Target Audience

Children and young students are the primary emphases of pedagogy, while adults are the primary focus of andragogy.

Learning Approach

Pedagogy focuses on the teacher, while andragogy focuses on the student.

Prior Knowledge

Andragogy recognises the wealth of life experiences and previous knowledge that adults contribute to the learning process, whereas pedagogy considers that learners possess limited prior knowledge and experience.

Learner Motivation

In pedagogy, students are often motivated by things outside themselves, like grades and parents’ demands. Andragogy is characterised by a more inward source of drive, such as the pursuit of one’s own goals in life.

Learning Goals

In contrast to andragogical goals, which are often learner-driven and uniquely suited to their needs and interests, pedagogical goals are typically established in advance through curricula and learning standards.

Learning Process

Pedagogy is largely receptive, with students receiving knowledge from their instructors. Adults are encouraged to think critically, solve problems independently, and pursue their interests as part of the learning process in andragogy.

Teacher’s Role

Regarding pedagogy, students look to their instructor as a role model and a font of information. The role of the instructor in andragogy is that of a facilitator or guide, assisting students while they pursue their learning objectives.

Relevance of Learning

Andragogy stresses the practical application of information and its immediate relevance to learners’ personal and professional lives, while pedagogy tends to offer more abstract and theoretical knowledge.


Standardised testing and grading systems are common in pedagogical assessment, but in andragogical assessment, the emphasis is on self-evaluation, reflection, and the presentation of practical abilities.