ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Psychological vs. Pedagogical

Updated on November 12, 2014

by Amber Maccione

When a child starts school, much of school is based upon their ability to memorize and store that which the teacher instructs them in. They are tested on it year after year with the teacher adding a little bit more to the mix. Therefore, a child can be tested using the psychological method designed by Binet and Simon to assess the child’s performance during his schools days (Ackerman, 1996). When it comes to the adult though, the psychological method (the method that concentrates on intellectual processes such as memory and abstract reasoning) does not really work because adults are not memorizing anymore. Rather, an adult is using the knowledge he already has and applying it to real world situations to conclude how to solve a real world problem (Ackerman, 1996). The adult has switched from the child processing and memorizing new information to retain and be able to regurgitate back when a teacher requires it to someone who is seeking to solve a real world problem using the skills and knowledge he already has. It is now knowledge over process, which is what the pedagogical method measures (Ackerman, 1996).

There are two things that must happen for a person to have knowledge. They must first learn, which is the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skills, and then they must be able to retrieve that knowledge, which is memory (Conner, 2014). As a child, they know nothing when entering school, so to speak. As they graduate from grade to grade, they take what has been taught and apply it year after year. For an adult, they have already gone through the traditional learning system, which the psychological method assesses (Ackerman, 1996). They have knowledge from traditional school, but they also have gained knowledge through life experiences. Therefore, when learning as an adult, they bring these experiences to what is being taught traditionally. The adult learner uses his knowledge to solve a real life problem (Ackerman, 1996). There is a purpose to the learning that goes beyond memory and regurgitation.

Problems in the world are not novel or simplistic (Ackerman, 1996). Real world problems require an individual to draw on their accumulated knowledge and skills, therefore, adult intellect is best explained by the tasks that he can accomplish through the skills he has developed (Ackerman, 1996). Instead of kinetic intelligence used by a child, an adult uses potential intelligence (Ackerman, 1996). Therefore, intelligence is based not on how he will learn but on what he already knows and can apply to the traditionally learning process (Ackerman, 1996).

Ackerman has written a whole book dedicated to adult intelligence and learning. From that which was stated within this article, he seems to be on the same page as the class readings with the fact that adults learn differently from the traditional way a child learns. Since this is the result of research done by different parties, such as fields of education, cognitive science, and adult development, it only natural to believe that when assessing an adult in the traditional sense, a teacher would also take into account what knowledge and skills the adult learner is bringing to the table and adding to the subject area being taught.


Ackerman, Phillip L. (1996). Adult intelligence. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation,

5(8). Retrieved from

Conner, M. (2014). “Introduction to Adult Learning.” Marc!a Conner. Retrieved from

Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved

© 2014 Amber


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)