What makes Lindeman's Five Assumptions beneficial in learning about adult education and theories?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that understanding Lindeman's five assumptions beneficial to the learning of adult education and its theories in two distinct ways. The first is that Lindeman's assumptions help to crystallize the purpose of andragogy.  The tendency is to treat adult education in the same manner as pedagogy because the latter is more well understood in comparison to the former.  This is erroneous and Lindeman's five assumptions help to better understand that.  For example, in examining how Lindeman asserts that adults can and will learn if they see direct relevance between instruction and their own experience ensures that andragogy is driven to satisfy the divergent needs of the adult learner.  Another instance of this would be how Lindeman's assumptions credit this reservoir of adult experience.  The differences within this as one gets older become critical to instructional approaches.  Being able to ensure that this experience is tapped into as a source to drive instruction helps to drive content to this end.  Finally, Lindeman's assumptions behind life and learning being unified as well as the need to mandate that self- direction is a part of the instruction process help to differentiate andragogy from pedagogy.  This distillation brings purpose and meaning to adult education, ensuring that learners get the most from it.

The other reason why knowledge of the five assumptions is beneficial in learning about adult education and theories is that Lindeman offers a paradigm on how andragogy should be.  The five assumptions from which Lindeman starts helps to establish the ideal of adult education.  When adult education is seen in this light, a vision of what can be is presented.  This paradigm can be used to assess other theories and practices in adult education.  Lindeman's theories are beneficial because they provide a prism into what can be as opposed to what is.

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