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Volume

11

Issue

1

Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract

In contrast to established educational fields such as mathematics, the discipline of aviation education is relatively young. Despite strong signs that our discipline is maturing (Brady 1991), it is not clear as to the extent to which a larger body of instructional theory can be applied specifically to aviation instruction (Telfer 1993, p. 210) or the broader field of aviation education. A starting point in unraveling this complex question is to better understand the characteristics of aviation students. In recent years a limited number of researchers have begun to address this and related questions (Moore and Telfer 1990; Quilty 1996; Green 1998; and Kanske 2001). In the current study, we seek to relate the learning characteristics of the student in aviation education to the well-established concepts of andragogy and pedagogy. Knowles (1977a) defined "pedagogy" as the art and science of teaching children, and gives an historical account (Knowles 1977b) of the origins of this mode of educational practice in 7th century European monasteries for the purpose of rapidly training a cadre of young workers to copy teachings from decaying scrolls. This is notable because through subsequent centuries this teaching model has been applied to ever broader and more complex learning situations. Current literature suggests that the traditional lecture format for college classes is not always effective with today's students when used as the sole means for transmitting information (e.g., Campbell 1997). Traditional lecture formats follow the "pedagogical" teaching model in that they are teacher-centered, and not necessarily influenced by the needs or interests of the students.

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