The Five Instructional Stances

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 also heavily instructor-centered. Following this is learning theory is andragogy. Andragogy has a connection to constructivism as it is more learner-centered and accepted as an instructional approach for mature learners. “In andragogy, the learners themselves directly and significantly influence the curriculum based on their interests and needs” (Bangura, 2005, p. 28). Ergonagy, like pedagogy, has a 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. It may or may not require specialized knowledge based upon the training objectives. Lastly, heutagogy, like andragogy, has a connection to constructivism and the newly identified connectivism. Heutagogy is fully learner-centered, as this instructional stance allows learners full autonomy over the curriculum.

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 their designs. What is more, Ira Socol 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.


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

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

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