Date of Award

Spring 4-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John Henschke

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom

Third Advisor

Dr. Ryan Guffey


Andragogy, defined as, “the art and science of helping adults learn” (Knowles, 1980, p. 43) has been used in education and organizations for more than five decades. This philosophy was examined in this study to explore to what extent Andragogy was being used, and perceived to be used, by the coach in a collegiate athletic program. Interviews, observations, and surveys of the coach, along with questionnaires, surveys, and focus group sessions of the student-athletes were used to determine whether an andragogically based coaching approach positively affected the performances and outcomes of the participants. By utilizing an adaptation of Henschke’s (1989) Modified Instructional Perspectives Inventory (MIPI) the coach’s as well as student-athletes’ perceptions of the andragogical model were examined, recorded, and scored. The coach and student-athletes were also asked to score their most important needs as a learner, using the assumptions Knowles employed to characterize the adult learner. The study concluded that although Andragogy and its principles and practices were not previously known or understood by the coach and student-athletes, there was a high degree of parity between the principles and practices of a successful sports coach and that of Andragogy. What appeared to be new revelations in concept and practice were the notions of the Learning Contract (LC) and Self-Directed Learning (SDL), both of which were being used by the coach in an informal manner. Although not categorically concluded in the study that Andragogy would guarantee better results, the coach confessed that he saw both Learning Contracts and Self-Directed Learning as a way of enhancing his approach to becoming a better coach with increased skill to help unleash the potential, responsibility, and independence of his athletes. The adoption of andragogical principles vii and practices were acknowledged as an approach that could greatly add to Coach Owen’s style and approach in dealing with his athletes, especially the very competitive. Future studies of this nature will be useful in promoting Andragogy and in the education of coaches.


Copyright 2017