What is Adult Education?

Adult education is a process where by adults learn new things or improve their skills. It helps them to be more effective in their daily lives as well as at work.

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Adult education, also called continuing education, is an organized educational process under which individuals who have completed a formal schooling receive technical or academic instruction.

Adult education takes place in a variety of settings, including traditional classrooms, online courses, and workplace training programs. It can be gear towards students seeking to complete their high school diploma or GED, those who wish to learn English as a second language, or those who want to upgrade their job skills.

Whether you are looking to return to school to earn a degree, train for a new job, or simply learn something new, adult education can provide you with the opportunity to reach your goals.

What is Adult Education?

Adult education is a process through which an individual gain new knowledge, skills or behaviors. It has been seen as a process through which an individual gain new knowledge, skills or behaviors. Adult education takes many different forms and can be offer in a variety of settings.

Historical perspective of Adult Education

Adult education, distinct from child or youth education, has a different history and different purposes. In the early history of the United States, colonists were concerned primarily with literacy and religion. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, for example, passed a law in 1647 making attendance at some form of religious instruction compulsory. In the 19th century, as industrialization increased and cities grew rapidly, evening schools and other educational opportunities for adults became more common. Horace Mann’s advocacy of public education in the 1840s helped to increase government support for educational programs for children and adults.

By the early 20th century, adult education programs in the United States were becoming more widespread and organized. The field began to take on some of the characteristics of a profession, with specialized journals and professional organizations. During World War I (1914–1918), programs to train soldiers and workers were developed on a large scale in many countries. After the war ended, many of these programs were continued or expanded to meet the needs of unemployed workers and others who were trying to improve their skills.

The Great Depression (1929–1939) also led to an increase in adult education programs designed to help people find jobs or start businesses. In addition, educational opportunities for adults were expanded in many countries as part of government efforts to promote social stability and economic growth.

In recent decades, technological advances have made it possible for people to get an education without leaving their homes or workplaces. Online learning has become an important part of many adult education programs.

Theoretical perspective of Andragogy

Theory of Andragogy

Andragogy is the science of helping adults learn. It is based on the assumption that adults are different from children in the way that they learn. Adults are more self-directed, have more life experience, and are more motivated to learn than children. Andragogy focuses on aiding adults in their efforts to gain new skills and knowledge.

The concept of andragogy was first proposed by Alexander Kapp in 1833. However, it was not until 1968 that the term was coined by Malcom Knowles. Since then, there has been much debate surrounding the theory of andragogy. Some argue that andragogy is not a scientific theory at all, but rather a set of assumptions or principles. Others argue that andragogy is a legitimate scientific theory that can be used to help adults learn more effectively.

Who are adult learners?

Adult learners are those who are aged 21 or over who are seeking to gain new skills or qualifications. Adult education can take many forms, from traditional classroom-based learning to more informal online learning. There are many reasons why adults might choose to learn, such as to improve their career prospects, to gain a new qualification, or simply to pursue a personal interest. Whatever the reason, adult education can be a great way to achieve your goals.

Andragogical Assumptions of adult learners

Malcolm Knowles, an American educator well-known for his work in the field of adult education, proposed a set of assumptions about how adults learn best. These assumptions are sometimes referred to as andragogical assumptions, and they contrast with the pedagogical assumptions that are more commonly used when working with children.

Andragogical Assumptions:
1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their own learning.
2. Experiences in life provide the basis for adult learning.
3. Adults are most interested in learning topics that have immediate relevance to their lives and work.
4. Adults need to know why they need to learn something before they are motivated to do so.
5. Adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for their own learning.
6. Adults have a greater need for autonomy than children do in their learning.
7. Adults are more oriented toward problem-solving than children are.

Why is Andragogy important to the field of Adult Education?

Adult education, also called andragogy, is a practice-oriented field that deals with teaching adults in an educational setting. Andragogy is the science of teaching adults, which is a method that is different from pedagogy, which is the science of teaching children.

Andragogy in practice

In practice, andragogy refers to teaching methods and principles that are geared towards adult learners. This includes everything from the way information is presented, to the way that learners are assessed.

Andragogy is important because it takes into account the fact that adults have different needs than children when it comes to learning. For example, adults are more likely to be self-motivated and need instructor support in order to achieve their goals.

Andragogy is a useful framework for adult educators because it helps them to understand the needs of their students and design instruction that meets those needs. When adult learners feel like they are being supported in their learning, they are more likely to be successful.


Adult education can take many forms and lead to a variety of outcomes, but its core purpose is to help adults learn new skills or knowledge that they can use in their personal or professional lives. Whether you’re looking to improve your job prospects, get a promotion, or simply learn something new for fun, adult education can help you achieve your goals. With so many different options available, there’s sure to be a program that’s right for you.

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