The Five Instructional Stances

The instructional stance is always determined by the learner and the learning goal. Subsequently, the instructional stance will, in turn, determine which tools to use within the various instructional designs.

One instructional stance is pedagogy. Pedagogy has a  strong connection to behaviorism.  It is heavily instructor-centered and bases learning on environmental conditioning and stimuli. Another instructional stance is andragogy. Andragogy has a powerful connection to cognitive constructivism, as it is more learner-centered and accepted as an instructional approach for mature learners. However, cognitive constructivists believe that development precedes learning. Hence, “in andragogy, the learners themselves directly and significantly influence the curriculum, based on their interests and needs” (Bangura, 2005, p. 28), because of their development and maturation.

Ergonagy, like pedagogy, is an instructional stance with a strong connection to behaviorism, as with this instructional stance, learners are expected to learn for vocational purposes. Bangura (2005) submitted that “ergonagy supports a continual blending of academic and vocational education for improved work opportunities throughout individuals’ lives, whether in one or several careers” (p. 31). Hence, this instructional stance is centered on a technique. This instructional stance may or may not require specialized knowledge, depending upon the training objectives.  Heutagogy, like andragogy, has a powerful connection to constructivism and the newly identified theory of connectivism. Heutagogy is fully learner-centered, as this instructional stance allows learners full autonomy over the curriculum. Lastly, ubuntugogy, which has its roots in Afrocentric philosophy, has a connection to social constructivism. Unlike cognitive constructivists, social constructivists believe that learning precedes development. Ubuntugogy is heavily group centered and founded on the principles of dialogue, consensus building, and religiosity. Bangura (2005) argued that ubuntugogy has the potential to surpass all of the aforementioned instructional stances.

Once the instructional stance is determined based on the learner’s needs, the instructional designer will then determine which tools, analog and/or digital, will work best for his or her designs. Tools for both the learner and course authoring should be carefully examined, as tools are a huge part of learning. Ira Socol (2008) submitted that instructors should consider that learners, like instructional designers, also need experience with deciding which tools will go into their toolbelts, as each toolbelt is unique to its user. For this post, I will consider course authoring tools.



Bangura, Abdul. (2005). Ubuntugogy: An African educational paradigm that transcends pedagogy, andragogy, ergonagy and heutagogy. 22. 13-53.

Khademi, M., Haghshenas, M. and Kabir, H. (2011). A Review On Authoring Tools. Retrieved from November 6, 2019

Socol, I. D. (2008) Toolbelt Theory. Retrieved from October 23, 2018.

Practice what you preach!

I recently got the opportunity to do some freelance work as a subject matter expert. It was exciting to be a freelance subject matter expert, even though it was a short-lived opportunity. Hence, this experience taught me a big lesson… Practice what you preach.



Hodell, C., & ProQuest. (2015). ISD from the Ground up, 4th Edition. Alexandria: American Society for Training & Development.