Experts and Students Advocate Andragogical Insights in Learning Beyond Pedagogy

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2020)
Title: Experts and Students Advocate Andragogical Insights in Learning Beyond Pedagogy
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Selma Dündar-Coecke, University College London, United Kingdom


Past research indicates that experts with more specialized knowledge criticized educational implementations and curriculum content sharply. Whether the intensity of these criticisms originates from domain-specific knowledge or expertise is unknown, as experts are highly independent, internally motivated, and self-directed learners.

This study hypothesizes that when adults with specialized knowledge comment on educational implementations, they may project their own intellectual competences onto their judgments, in a phenomenon called as intellectual mirroring. The purpose of the study is to investigate to what extent intellectual mirroring has been hampered by an over-reliance on pedagogical or andragogical insights.

The study employed the qualitative research approach, in which the qualitative data were obtained from a series of focus group discussions and individual interviews with primary and secondary school students (Nfocusgroup=8) and teachers (Ninterview=5), who live in the UK. The content analyses identified 13 sub-themes under 6 categories for teachers; and 11 sub-themes under 6 categories for students.

The analyses showed that the nature and intensity of elder students’ criticisms were highly similar to those of experts’ previously found. Older than 14-year-old students claimed more independence in their learning journey and showed high motivation for specific topics, which can be interpreted by andragogical insights. However, teachers questioned students’ competences for self-directed learning, and emphasized curriculum-based requirements, which is driven by pedagogical insights. As opposed to the teachers, from the students’ point of view, intellectual mirroring is not the consequence of domain-specific knowledge or expertise.