Beginnings of the History and Philosophy of Andragogy 1833-2000

John Henschke, Lindenwood University


Andragogy had a very slow beginning over a period of almost one century as a term referring to the theory and practice of adult education. Numerous elements were involved in the seventy years it took to establish its foundation: starting in England and the USA; andragogy and human resource development (HRD); andragogy and self-directed learning (SDL); conflict between supporters and detractors; comparing European and USA perspectives; trust in learners' abilities; scientific foundation of andragogy; skepticism and its counter-balance; and, antecedents of andragogy. Trends in usage and considering its possible benefits set the tone for the future of andragogy from 2000 forward.