Knowles’, Holton’s, and Swanson’s The Adult Learner serves as a comprehensive overview of the field of adult education.
Andragogy, in contrast to pedagogy, is a field that focuses on adult learning and everything that ensues. It is “any intentional and professionally guided activity that aims at a change in adult persons” (Location 1174). It does not merely translate pedagogical principles to an adult context, but it is an attempt to focus on the adult learner and “provide an alternative to the methodology-centered instructional design perspective” (Location 124).
This book proposes and argues for six principles of andragogy: the learner’s need to know, the self-concept of the learner, the prior experience of the learner, the readiness to learn, the orientation to learning, and the motivation to learn (Location 155). These core principles are set in the context of individual and situational differences, which are subject matter differences, individual learner differences, and situational differences. This is then set in the context of the broader goals and purposes for learning, which are institutional growth, individual growth, and societal growth (Location 164).