I hadn’t heard the term andragogy until about three weeks ago, when I was listening to a podcast from #EdChat Radio while running on the treadmill. In this episode, Tom Whitby and Nancy Blair discuss the usefulness of Professional Development with their guest, Claire Signorello.
The distinction between pedagogy and andragogy captured my attention; because I realized that I had made an alarming assumption. I thought that “pedagogy” simply referred to teaching methodology. In fact, if you do a quick search on Google, the first definition that pops up is equally generic: the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. *note: if you hop over to Wikipedia, a more elaborate definition is provided along with a reference to andragogy.
Why is this new knowledge relevant?
This year, I am learning about leadership with a group of aspiring leaders in our school board. The experience is a humbling one; new concepts and new ways of thinking have me floundering like an awkward fledgling. I am having to come to terms with what I don’t know in order to move forward, and my pride is feeling the effects.
As leaders-in-training, we are encouraged to think about our potential actions and how they can make an impact within our schools. The creation of a theory of action seems simple enough, until it is time to decide what you will do, and how this will happen.
Finish the sentence: “If I (insert action here), then (insert outcome here)”
How do I make a decision that will benefit my colleagues? How do I help them move forward while respecting the way they need to learn?