Saturday, January 26, 2013

What is Andragogy?

What is Andragogy?

Ferdi Serim, author of Digital Learning: Strengthening and Assessing 21st Century Skills, defines andragogy as a theory of how humans learn.  This is an important term to add to your vocabulary.  Up until recently, pedagogy (how we teach) has been the dominant term in major discussions on education. The pivot in the 21st century is away from centering on teaching and looking closer to how we learn.

Ferdi Serim has listed six (6) tenets of andragogy – how we learn:

1.     Need to Know (Why You Do)
2.     Experience (Including Error)
3.     Readiness (Just in Time)
4.     Orientation (Problem Centered)
5.      Motivation (Internal)
6.     Self-Concept (In Charge of Your Own Learning)

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a 21st century concept of education and addresses all of these tenets.

1.  Need to know (Why You Do): 

Educators often have to address the question of why do we need to learn this or when will I ever use that because of our fragmental approach to teaching.  Official Coach Lerning Academies use compelling story lines to provide context (a problem to solve) that motivates and guide students through the learning experience.   Coach Michael Lerning is the central character, but there are several others that provide hilarious misadventures in learning.

2.  Experience (Including Error):

Official Coach Lerning Academies allow students to develop deeper understanding by learning from their mistakes without penalties.  Students are not graded in the traditional method of allowing mediocre work (a D+ for example) to pass as acceptable work for credit.  Students must demonstrate mastery through problem-solving project-based assignments.  Students earn badges of achievements when they demonstrate mastery.  The lessons learned while earning badges cannot be quantified or graded but provide the best kind of education.

3. Readiness (Just in Time):

Most students study under the premise that anything and everything covered in class might be on a test (Just in case studying).  The result is called load and dump.  In other words, they study everything that might be on a test and then forget the information after the test.  The information that they were studying had no relevance to anything outside of the test and, therefore, no longer important enough to remember.  This is not a conscious decision among students, but a result from how our brain is wired to learn and remember what is important.

Official Coach Lerning Academies provides relevance by putting problem-solving projects in the context of a compelling story line.  Students study and learn what they need to know to solve a problem and complete a task. 

4.  Orientation (Problem Centered):

Marc-AndrĂ© Lalande invented a new word – Schoolisyzation. 

“- n. the act of force fitting a notion or concept into a real-life context or vise-versa, for teaching purposes, resulting in a somewhat absurd lesson or exercise that would never be considered outside of a teaching facility.”

These are problems meant to put a concept into a context for students, but instead provoke bewilderment that anyone would ever need or want to do that in real life. 

Official Coach Lerning Academies presents problem-solving assignments in the context of a compelling story line that makes sense and motivates the student to solve.

5.  Motivation (Internal):

Self-motivation is key to learning.  The expression – you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink, is well known, but not actually true.  Our school systems have been salting the oats to force students to participate for a very long time.  Official Coach Lerning Academies want to take our students for a run that will work up a thirst.  (OK, I may have stretched that analogy too far).

The point is this:  Story telling, song, dance, and games have been used to teach for thousands of years because they work.  Students are so caught up in the enjoyment of learning that the do not realize that they are being taught.  This is the heart of what makes Official Coach Lerning Academies radically different from other programs.  We have re-imagined education for the 21st century and found that current technology makes it possible to center on learning as oppose to force teaching.

6.  Self-Concept (In Charge of Your Own Learning):

This tenet is about people having the need to be responsible for their own education – make their own choices.  This includes involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.  Official Coach Lerning Academies provides students with opportunities to choose among options where they want to follow in the gamified story line, but this is actually superficial to their education.  In addition to completing problem-solving project-based assignments – there is Challenge-Based Learning.

As described by the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow – Today (ACOT2) program, Challenge-Based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems through efforts in their homes, schools and communities.

Individual Official Coach Lerning Academies are not disengaged from the real world around us.  There are true-life problems in our communities and around the world that our students must be a part of the solution.  Our students are required to periodically submit a Challenge-Based Learning project.  And since Official Coach Lerning Academies are not bound by traditional school hours and days, our students have the flexibility to be fully engaged in Challenge-Based Learning.

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a unique and radical 21st century change in education.  Please show support by following us on Twitter and liking our Facebook page.

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a 21st century concept of education. Regionally accredited independent study schools that blend online gamified story lines with project-based mastery. It is still in the developmental stage.  Students are not enrolled in a particular school, but rather have membership privileges in all of the academies.  Coach Lerning is the name of a character of a gamified story line that motivates and guide students through the 21st century learning experience.

We will continue to explore the uniqueness of Official Coach Lerning Academies in future posts.  Thank you for visiting.  To Learn more About Official Coach Lerning Academies - visit our blog and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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