The Metamorphoses of <i>Andragogy</i>


  • James Draper Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


Andragogy and adult education (frequently used synonymously) reflect the involvement of adults in learning. This article presents an overview of the origin and early usage of the term andragogy as it evolved in Europe and in North America. In doing so, a number of issues are identified, the varying uses of the term are described, and the influence of these historical developments on the theory, practice, and identity of present day adult education in Canada are emphasized. The article concludes by making a number of interpretive reflections on the implications this evolution and debate on the concept has for today's field of practice and search for identity.


Les termes «education des adultes» et «andragogie», qui reflètent habitueullement l'engagement des adultes face à leur propre apprentissage, sont souvent employés comme synonymes. Nous proposons ici un survol des origines et des premiers usages du terme «andragogie» en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. Après avoir identifié les principaux enjeux et décrit les divers usages du terme, nous aborderons l'influence de cette évolution sur la théorie, la pratique et l'identité des praticiens en éducation des adultes.




How to Cite

Draper, J. (1998). The Metamorphoses of <i>Andragogy</i>. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 12(1), 3–26. Retrieved from