Applying Andragogy

serves as a quick review of the comparisons between Pedagogy The pedagogical style is teacher centered - the teacher decides what is taught and how it is taught. As a result, the student is dependent on the teacher for direction as well as the content itself. The focus of learning is to build a foundation of knowledge that may be useful later. and andragogy Andragogy, or adult learning style is student centered. Students take a much more active role in directing what they need to learn. The focus of learning is more on the application of knowledge and the development of competency in skills that are needed at that moment. The role of the teacher is more as a facilitator of learning and a resource to the student. The adult student takes responsibility for his or her education. . Even though you will be 'technically' teaching adult students, there are times when you will draw upon a more pedagogical approach in your teaching. Some examples of this were provided in the Module 2. The purpose behind discussing these approaches is to help you expand your teaching repertoire. to include styles that are likely to be effective and well received by your student. The art of teaching is left to you to paint, applying your brush strokes as appropriate for each situation.

 
Table 1. Assumptions of Pedagogy and Andragogy
  Pedagogy The pedagogical style is teacher centered - the teacher decides what is taught and how it is taught. As a result, the student is dependent on the teacher for direction as well as the content itself. The focus of learning is to build a foundation of knowledge that may be useful later.
(teaching children)
Andragogy Andragogy, or adult learning style is student centered. Students take a much more active role in directing what they need to learn. The focus of learning is more on the application of knowledge and the development of competency in skills that are needed at that moment. The role of the teacher is more as a facilitator of learning and a resource to the student. The adult student takes responsibility for his or her education.
(teaching adults)
Concept of the student Dependent Self-directed
Student's Experience Limited A resource to build on
Individual Ready to Learn When... Directed by the teacher or school Solving a real problem
Focus of learning Foundation Application
Learning orientation Knowledge for later Competency for today
Role of teacher
  • Authority
  • Expert
  • Facilitator
  • Resource
  • Consultant
STFM PEP2 Training Materials (Module 4), Second Edition, 1999

Here are some questions to get you thinking about how to apply adult learning principles with your student:

Assumption #1: Students are Self-Directed

How might you apply this assumption in your clinical setting? Specifically, what could you do or say to the student that applies this principle?

Sample Answer: Allow students to identify areas they would like to work on during their rotation time with you.

Assumption #2: Students' Experiences are a Rich Resource

How might you apply this assumption in your clinical setting? Specifically, what could you do or say to the student that applies this principle?

Sample Answer: Ask the student about his/her previous experience with a certain medical issue/condition that is under discussion.

Assumption #3: The Student is Eager to Learn when Solving a Real Problem

How might you apply this assumption in your clinical setting? Specifically, what could you do or say to the student that applies this principle?

Sample Answer: Ask student to research a question specific to a patient encounter such as investigating a potential interaction with a statin drug.

Assumption #4: Students are Eager to Apply the Information they are Learning

How might you apply this assumption in your clinical setting? Specifically, what could you do or say to the student that applies this principle?

Sample Answer: Have the student determine whether it is appropriate for their patient to use a statin drug and discuss this with the patient.

Assumption #5: Students are Eager to Become Competent

How might you apply this assumption in your clinical setting? Specifically, what could you do or say to the student that applies this principle?

Sample Answer: After reviewing the knee exam with your student, have them go in to see the next patient with a knee complaint.

You may already be applying many of these adult learning principles, or you may tend to apply certain assumptions and not others. Becoming aware of your assumptions is an important step in improving your teaching.

Adapted from: Knowles, ME. The modern practice of adult education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Cambridge/Prentice Hall, 1980:43-4.

Module 3: Interacting with Your Medical Student