Comparing Traditional Teaching with Andragogical Teaching via Web 2.0 Technologies

Comparing Traditional Teaching with Andragogical Teaching via Web 2.0 Technologies

Judith Parker (Columbia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-791-3.ch010
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The social networking and knowledge development features of Web 2.0 have offered new opportunities and challenges for teaching. This chapter will explore how these have impacted instructional methods utilized in both traditional and andragogical teaching in both face-to-face and virtual classrooms. It will include case studies as well as student comments.
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The introduction of new technology has always caused instructors to revisit their teaching methods with an eye to integrating the newest ideas. Both pedagogy and andragogy have been influenced by technology. Since the advent of the internet, new capabilities in presentation, communication, and collaboration have grown at an increasing rate. The recent introduction of Web 2.0’s features has extended the voice and face of online connections. This chapter will explore the impact of those features on teaching in both an instructor focused (traditional) and student focused (andragogical) learning environment. Brunner (2009) sets the tone for this dichotomy by describing “two strikingly divergent conceptions about how mind works. The first of these was the hypothesis that mind could be conceived as a computational device. The other was the proposal that mind is both constituted by and realized in the use of human culture” (p. 159). He explains that “The first or computational view is concerned with information processing: how finite, coded, unambiguous information about the world is inscribed, sorted, stored, collated, retrieved, and generally managed by the computational device. The process of knowing is often messier and more fraught with ambiguity than such a view allows” (pp. 159-160). He further clarifies that “The second is “culturalism” which suggests that “mind could not exist save for culture. Culture in this sense is superorganic. But it shapes the minds of individuals as well. Its individual expression inheres in meaning making, assigning meanings to things in different settings on particular occasions” (p. 160). His view of the mind as a computational device is consistent with the practice of instructor focused traditional teaching. His second view is a more holistic picture of the student shaped by culture and not just absorbing facts but making meaning of them within the student’s reality consistent with the practice of andragogy.

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