When discussing teaching concepts the words andragogy and pedagogy can both be used, though they refer to very different areas of teaching. This article will help you clearly understand the difference between andragogy vs. pedagogy.


Andragogy refers to teaching concepts that relate to adult learning, which can vary from the traditional teaching concepts used from primary through secondary school. Key aspects of andragogy include:
  • Focus: The focus of adult learning is often far more on individual and self-directed learning. While classroom training may exist it is often seen as a supplement to the independent learning objectives.
  • Control: The student is typically far more responsible for their learning process and their motivation to learn is crucial to succeed. With adult learning there are often numerous methods to obtain the same learning objectives and the student can choose the path they want.
  • Grading: The importance of grading often varies, with many adult learning courses simply focusing on completion. The necessity of obtaining high grades for future objectives (i.e. admission a good university) is not nearly as important as with pedagogy.
  • Teachers: In andragogy teaching principles teachers are not as emphasized as the individuals own responsibility. Teachers may exist for guides and for questions, but will not direct students through all of the learning materials.


Pedagogy refers to teaching concepts that relate to child learning and is the aspect of teaching most are far more familiar with (through their own primary and secondary education). Key aspects of pedagogy include:
  • Focus: The focus of child learning is very much directed, with limited deviation from the set learning plans. Classroom or group training is the main focus of education, where information is passed on to students, as opposed to them learning it themselves.
  • Control: Control of the learning process is very much in the hands of teachers or the organization that dictates the curriculum (i.e. a school board or faculty). Very little deviation is often allowed from the established learning process.
  • Grading: Grading is typically very important in terms of child learning as it is emphasized for advancement and also future opportunity to attend post-secondary education (university or college). Evaluation of concepts taught is typically done periodically throughout any course.
  • Teachers: Teachers are central to pedagogy concepts as they are responsible for passing on all of the information a student is expected to learn. Furthermore they need to then evaluate the learning of students when it comes to grading. Compared to adult teaching this means experienced teachers are far more important in terms of successful learning for students.

Andragogy vs. Pedagogy

While the concepts of andragogy and pedagogy relate to two different types of learners, adults and children, respectively, the concepts do intertwine as the nature of learning is a sliding scales from self-directed to teacher-directed. Some children may learn under more self-directed concepts and some adults may learn under more teacher-directed concepts. Ultimately education needs to be tailored to the audience (the students) to ensure that it achieves the required outcome.