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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201213 Find in a Library
Title: Theory of Andragogy Applied to Police Training
Journal: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:29-42
Author(s): Michael L. Birzer
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses incorporating the theory of andragogy into police training and the particular characteristics about the learning transaction in the police-training classroom.
Abstract: Many police-training programs are conducted in a very behavioral and militaristic environment. This method may not be the best environment for the teaching-learning transaction to occur. The majority of police subjects in the recruit and in-service training curriculum should be taught using adult education methodologies rather than behavioral. An examination is done of the traditional police-training methods, which emphasize the military training model, is punishment-centered, and helps screen those not up to par. It is concluded that the stressful environment that these methods tend to invoke is not likely to elicit trainees’ openness, participation, and positive feelings. The adult learning theory of andragogy, which advocates both the self-directed learning concept and the teacher as the facilitator of learning, seems to go hand-in-hand with community policing. Andragogical technique emphasizes the skills of analysis and decisionmaking through a series of job-related cases or problems; establishes a learning approach rather than a teaching approach; and is a practical, job-based approach that keeps learners aware of the value of the training program to them and their work. Police-training academies should evolve into training programs that inform police how to identify, respond to, and solve problems such as crime, drugs, and fear of crime. Learning may be enhanced by allowing trainees to participate in self-directed group discussions and active debate within the context of the classroom. It is important for police training to emphasize the experiences of the learner, not only their past experiences but also with the use of experiential learning activities. The difficult aspect of andragogy is transforming the theory and design into action. There may be resistance at the management level; and the design and implementation may be limited because of mandated guidelines from training commissions and legal requirements. 54 references
Main Term(s): Police training models; Teaching/training techniques
Index Term(s): Education; Educators; Police reform; Police training innovations; Police training overview; Techniques
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