Anthropogogy: The study of human learning
(Greek) – Anthrop (άνθρωπ) means people and Agy (άγω) means to conduct / lead.
Neil Postman in his book, "The Disappearance of Childhood" (1986), describes the life experience of childhood as mainly social and not only as biological growth. Postman argues that the mass media, especially television and the Internet, leads to the cancellation of the barriers that society has created around the world of childhood. Postman's conclusion is that childhood is disappe
Nir Golan, an educational and leadership expert, suggests combining the terms Pedagogy (child learning) and Androgogy (male / adult), into one term, Anthropogogy: to mean human learning. Teaching should be carried out alongside the comprehensive development of the human being regardless of his/her biological age. The distinction between a child's learning and an adult's learning is not relevant because, as Postman states, the differences between adults and children are disappe
aring. Therefore, the child learner should be
treated like an adult learner.
Felix Adam first defined the term Anthropogogy in 1977 as: "The science and the art of permanently teaching and educating a person throughout any period of his/her psycho-biological development and in the functioning of his/her natural, ergo logical and social life."
In 1981, K.D Benne described the term as: "The guideline of learning and education of people of all ages, as the basis for human survival, highlighting the importance of controlling the processes of critical thinking and innovation, ability to listen and communicate with others whose views are contradictory. Provide the ability to learn how to learn again."
Nir Golan offers a new definition of Anthropogogy as: "Leading a person (regardless of age) throughout significant learning towards behavioral change that can be implemented immediately." (Golan, 2014) In today's reality, culture is changing rapidly, so education has to be a lifelong process: where the teacher helps the learner discover the unknown without repeating information about the known.
According to Golan, Anthropogogy has five basic principles:
1. The independent learner: the perception of oneself as an independent entity. A person sees him/herself as someone who is self-directed; choosing what to learn, how much and how to learn it. The role of the teacher is not to give ready answers to predetermined questions, but to help the learner find out for him/herself what the important questions are and how to answer them. Through these questions, the dependence – independence conflict will decrease and there will be fewer objections to learning.
2. Adapting learning to that person's needs: the person is ready to learn when he/she needs that specific learning process, and it is incorporated into daily tasks and social functioning. He/she sees that the learning process serves his/her personal development.
Since every person has their own characteristics and needs, therefore, the most effective way of learning is to adapt learning to the needs and characteristics of that individual person with reference to their emotional and mental components, and not only to cognitive and behavioral aspects.
3. Renovating learning: In the digital age where there is widespread availability of network information, learning should give news and added value to the learner.
People approach learning in possession of their life experiences. For learning to be more significant, the learner needs to connect the current learning knowledge with his/her prior knowledge. As such, educators have to find out the prior knowledge of the person and his/her previous experiences in order to connect it to the learning experience and not teach him/her things they already know. Thus the person who teaches should renovate learning.
4. Immediate and practical learning: The main motive for human learning is for problem solving. The learner has a need for the immediate application of the learned material, so learning has to be more focused in giving solutions to the particular problem. Learning which cannot be implemented immediately is perceived as a waste of time.
5. Learning in Community:
The basic need of person today is belonging to "something bigger than me". Learning in community fulfills this need. Learning community convenes regularly and frequently during the workday to engage in collaborative professional learning to strengthen practices and increase results. Learning community members are accountable to one another to achieve the shared goals of the organization and work in transparent, authentic settings that support their improvement.
The Anthropogogy model assumes that the distinction between children and adults is no longer relevant in the digital age and that each student should be treated as a 'whole' person irrespective of their age.