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The efficacy of an andragogical instructional methodology in basic police training and education.

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posted on 17.02.2009, 16:10 by Robert F. Vodde
The principle mission of policing in the United States, unchanged since its inception, serves to maintain social order and control. As society continues to grow, mature, and evolve, so too has the complexity of fulfilling this mission. Because today’s sophisticated, fast-paced, and ever-changing society continues to experience unprecedented social, cultural, legal, political, economic, and technological changes, the expectations of its police have grown exponentially. With recruitment, the training of new police officers has broad implications for their ability to meet new and changing duties and responsibilities. While a traditional, pedagogical, military model of training may have at one time served the needs and interests of police and society, its applicability and efficacy has been called into question. It is theorized that an andragogical (adult based) instructional methodology will serve as a more effective means for training police recruits. Andragogy, rooted in the belief that adults learn differently than children, bases its practices on the needs, interests, readiness, orientation, experience, and motivation of the adult learner. Considering these needs, andragogy focuses on facilitating a holistic, integrative, and collaborative approach to learning that places a strong emphasis on experiential learning. While anecdotal data suggests that andragogy yields greater outcomes in learning and competencies when compared to a traditional, pedagogical, military model, the absence of empirical data served as an impetus to this study which revealed that an andragogical instructional methodology was more effective.


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University of Leicester

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