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Lindeman's assumptions regarding androgagy and learning, in general, were transformative. They sought to see what is and make it into what can and what should be. Lindeman's theories strike at the heart of the learner and seeks to make the process of instruction something that has relevance. Learners of all ages benefit from Lindeman's theories.
In my own practice, I think that I subscribe to Lindeman's belief that the theory of teaching is linked to the notion of action. Lindeman believed that in harnessing the experiences of the adult learners, a learning community rooted in action is evident. For Lindeman, education becomes the vehicle that accomplishes social change. In Lindemans' theories exist the idea that if individuals are able to learn in a social context, greater awareness of one's experiences become evident in both interpersonal and intrapersonal domains. Individuals can become agents of individual and social change through the process of learning in a collective context. When he says that, "All successful adult education groups sooner or later become social action groups," Lindeman speaks to a theoretical foundation that links the purpose of education to social change and transformation. This becomes meaningful for me as an educator because it keeps alive the promises of democracy through the process of teaching and learning.
Another assumption that is present in Lindeman's theories is the critical view of standardized textbook instruction. Lindeman wanted to supplant the static construction of learning through a textbook with the life experiences of the learner. For Lindeman, value exists in constructing the learner as the subject of instruction: "If education is life, then life also is education." This idea has become central to my teaching as the student's experiences have to form the content of constructivist teaching. Lindeman's abilty to make learning about content something in which the learner's experiences play a vital and direct role in constructing meaning are inspirational. Lindeman believed that "Experience is the adult learner's living textbook." This idea is something that can exist to all learners and in the field of andragogy, such ideas become critical to its success.
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