Pedagogical and Andragogical Approaches
Given that, the current workforce is a mixture of old and young employees, human resource professionals are questioning whether training both types of workers requires the same approach or whether the two groups should be trained differently. Both types of employees have diverse needs; hence, they should be exposed to different approaches of training. The two critical approaches of training are pedagogy and andragogy, where pedagogy is directed to children while andragogy approach is meant to teach adults. Thus, when an organization plans to enhance awareness of sexual harassment among employees, both pedagogy and andragogy approaches can be utilized, as each method has its benefits, as well as limitations.
The subject of sexual harassment is quite sensitive to some employees, thus, picking the appropriate method of teaching is vital for the benefit of the organization. Traditionally, pedagogy was a teaching technique specifically directed to children. Nowadays, pedagogical approach can teach adults, particularly when the trainer wants to exercise authority and control of the learning process. This form of teaching employs a downward communication approach and focuses more on rules (Werner & DeSimone, 2012). Using pedagogy approach as a training supervisor assists in ensuring that the required topic is covered within the stipulated time.
In contrast, andragogy approach involves teaching adults hypothetically using self-directed method. In this approach, adults are expected to participate actively by asking questions, raising opinions, and suggest how the trainer can meet their needs. The trainer needs to establish a plan to present his topic and set the procedure that would involve the learners, thus, creating conducive environment for learning (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). Andragogical approach is flexible, open, and accommodates standards agreed by the parties involved, and, in this case, the employees and their instructor.
Although andragogy seems to appeal more than pedagogy, most Human Resource Development (HRD) professionals advocate for a mixture of the two approaches to enhance a continuous process of learning. It is quite feasible to have both of the approaches in a classroom setup, despite andragogy being an open and responsive approach. While developing a program to teach on sexual harassment within the organization, the training supervisor can utilize both approaches. Pedagogy approach employs principles that are curriculum-oriented, legal-minded, as well as aspects that highlights on justification. On the other hand, andragogy exploits two-way communication principles, focuses on specific problems, and encourages teamwork. According to Werner and DeSimone (2012) andragogical approach encourages self-diagnosis, and involvement of students while evaluating success.
Training on organizational culture is a continuous process, which should be carried out regularly to motivate older employees and to inform the new employees about the organization’s norms. Hence, applying pedagogical approach in the preliminary stages of training can assist employees to understand the topic before they can be allowed to offer their view. Employees should understand that sexual harassment at the workplace is illegal, and any issue that involves legal mechanisms does not encourage individuals’ views. Since employees are expected to cover on penalties involved when an individual is accused of sexual harassment, pedagogical approach is necessary to ensure that every employee is aware of the laws.
The reason why supervisors cannot rely entirely on pedagogical approach is that it ignores the learners’ contribution to the study by turning them into subordinates of the instructors (Bovill, Cook‐Sather & Felten, 2011). Andragogical approach seems to be the appropriate method of training employees because it is normally based on individual’s experience, which is gained from pedagogy training in early age. The supervisor can still rely on the pedagogical approach to establish the andragogical approach for training employees on sexual harassment. Since andragogical approach is a two-way communication, the supervisor can rely on information that the employees are willing to share to motivate others on how to avoid sexual harassment.
One of the benefits of andragogical approach is that employees are able to assist each other, hence, becoming competent and experienced. Employees can be grouped into different categories where employees are expected to play the role of problem-solving, as well as discussing the methods that the instructor should use to deliver the topic concerning sexual harassment. Andragogical approach is driven by the need to know something, thus, adults are capable of investing their time to probe on the benefits they would accrue from the training (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). Andragogical approach has worked in numerous settings that include corporate, businesses, industries, healthcare, religious groups, as well as rehabilitation centers.
Enhancing awareness on sexual harassment among employees requires the HRD professionals to adopt the adragogical approach of learning, which encourage participation and is open to other possibilities. However, instructors should not overlook on pedagogical approach, which can assist in building the foundation of the topic under discussion. To understand the law on sexual harassment, instructors need to be strict so that employees can acknowledge the need to observe the law. Issues of employee relations should be discussed openly, thus, andragogical approach is necessary to facilitate participation and encouraging new ideas.
Bovill, C., Cook‐Sather, A., & Felten, P. (2011). Students as co‐creators of teaching approaches, course design, and curricula: implications for academic developers. International Journal for Academic Development,16(2), 133-145.
Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. New York, NY: Routledge.
Werner, J. M., & DeSimone, R. L. (2012). Human resource development. Mason, OH: South-Western.