Andragogy, often referred to as the art and science of helping facilitate the learning of adults, is a term closely associated with the pioneering work of John. If you’ve ever wondered, “What is Andragogy?” or are interested in delving deeper into the principles that underpin this concept, this article is for you.

What is Andragogy?

Andragogy is a concept coined by John Henschke, an American educator, which focuses on the unique characteristics of adult learners. It stands in contrast to pedagogy, which primarily deals with the education of children. Understanding andragogy involves recognizing that adults have distinct needs and motivations when it comes to learning.

Key Principles of Andragogy

  • Self-Direction: Adult learners prefer to take control of their learning experiences. They want to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their education.
  • Experience: Adults bring a wealth of life experiences to the learning environment. These experiences can be used as a resource for learning, making their education more relevant and meaningful.
  • Readiness to Learn: Adults are most interested in learning when they perceive the content as immediately applicable to their lives and goals.
  • Orientation to Learning: Adults are intrinsically motivated to learn, often driven by personal growth and problem-solving rather than external rewards or pressures.
  • Motivation: In andragogy, motivation is seen as primarily intrinsic, with adults pursuing education for their own reasons, such as career advancement or personal development.
  • Need to Know: Adult learners need to understand the relevance of what they are learning. They are more motivated when they see a clear purpose for acquiring new knowledge or skills.


Andragogy is a critical concept for educators and anyone involved in adult education. The principles of andragogy provide a roadmap for creating effective and engaging learning experiences for adults. By understanding the unique characteristics and needs of adult learners and applying these principles, educators can empower adults to take control of their learning, harness their experiences, and achieve their personal and professional goals.

In summary, Andragogy is not just a theoretical framework but a practical approach to adult education, one that recognizes the autonomy and diverse motivations of adult learners, ultimately leading to more successful learning experiences.