APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING IN A HIGHER EDUCATION SETTING: REFLECTIONS ON MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE ANDRAGOGY THEORY AND PRACTICE
Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ECUADOR)
Adult learning could be a frustrating experience for both the teacher and the student if the principles of Andragogy are not well understood and applied. I was not aware of what Andragogy meant when I heard of it for the first time in 2007 when the Center of Information Technology (CTI) of the university where I teach made a call to attend a training course. It was when I read and learned about the theory of teaching adults and some of the principles to be considered when teaching in a higher education setting. In this paper, the origin of the theory of andragogy will be described very shortly as well as some notes on how it has evolved. I will also share some of the principles of the andragogical theory that have been helpful in my teaching practice which resulted as a conclusion of my reflections along my journey from being a teacher to becoming a ‘facilitator’. With the intention of discovering the influences of my teaching practice within the framework of this adult learning theory through the eyes of my young adult students I will show some quotes and results of the surveys and interviews which were carried out to help me in this reflection process. The setting of this research is a university in Latin America where the Center of Information Technology (CTI) and the Center of Transfer Technology (CTT) are some of the centers which provide training opportunities for their staff in order to improve teaching quality. The participants are students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses and the author is a teacher of this EFL program.