NEUROANDRAGOGY combines the elements of neuropsychology, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy with current knowledge on adult education.
In the light of the concept’s principles, the adults’ teaching process should be based on information of brain working and changes in it at different stages of human life. The work of an adult education specialist requires being familiar with the following issues:
• The process of receiving and processing stimuli from the surrounding world.
• The functioning of various types of memory.
• The role and significance of experience and prior knowledge in the process of memorizing and constructing knowledge.
• Differences in working of the two cerebral hemisphere.
• The impact of stress and affective functions of a human being in the cognitive processes.
• Individual differences between learners in the scope of sensory preferences, learning styles.
• Conditioning of cognitive functions resulting from the process of maturing and aging.
Neuroandragogy is perceived as a very effective strategy in adult education because it is based on proven results of research on the cognitive processes in the brain and on verified knowledge on psychophysical functioning of an adult. In search of effective teaching and learning methods and tools it is based on measurable indicators and outcomes of tests carried out with the use of tools for the measurement of brain activity.
Neurosciences offer both teachers and adult students basic knowledge on brain functioning and the course of cognitive functions. Such knowledge and the ability to apply it in practice in situations related to learning, work, and coping with everyday life problems, is potentially valuable for every adult. However, in case of people from disadvantaged groups, who may have experienced school failures in the past, who did not find any satisfaction or success in life and school work when they were children and teenagers, or who do not see any possibilities for intellectual, professional, and personal development due to their age/disease/economic situation, the knowledge supplied by neuroandragogy can be the solution to many problems which make it difficult for them to start education and self-learning.
Neuroandragogy investigates also the influence of emotions on cognitive processes. The study of brain activity during functions connected with absorbing information proves that learning is not, as was considered for a very long time, only a cognitive process. It is an affective-cognitive process very strongly affected by emotions, that increase its effectiveness, weaken it, or block it totally. It is worth drawing attention to the fact that people from disadvantaged groups may potentially exhibit specific deficiencies in the field of their emotional functions (resulting from disturbed relations in the family, long-term discrimination by their environment, systematic negative feedback, inappropriate self-esteem, etc.). In their case getting to know neurobiological and biochemical mechanisms responsible for the formation of emotions and processes of making decisions, solving problems, and memorizing information will make it easier for them to understand many of their life experiences. It will also make it possible for them to more consciously analyze situations and decisions they will face in the future (including situations and decisions connected with education and development).
Neuroandragogy does not supply a ready, completely new methodology of teaching and learning. It formulates general rules and principles on the way adult educators and adult students act, which can considerably increase the efficiency of education. It verifies the didactic methods and tools used so far from the point of view of measurable outcomes of their application for the processes of information processing and memorizing. Neuroandragogy is not a revolution, but an evolution of the adult education, taking place parallel to our growing knowledge about the biological and neurological functioning of humans.