Self directed learning a learner centered approach
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Self directed learning a learner centered approach

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Self Directed Learning is a learner centered approach. SDL essentially believes in learners’ autonomy to learn. Malcome Knowles defined Self Directed Learning approach as “---‘… in which ...

Self Directed Learning is a learner centered approach. SDL essentially believes in learners’ autonomy to learn. Malcome Knowles defined Self Directed Learning approach as “---‘… in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes, Malcom Knowles (1975: 18).” Long back famous educationist John Dewey stated that “the most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning. So the desire to learn can form basic of learning.

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Self directed learning a learner centered approach Self directed learning a learner centered approach Document Transcript

  • “Self Directed Learning a Learner Centered Approach” Rajeev Ranjan Self Directed Learning is a learner centered approach. SDL essentially believes in learners’ autonomy to learn. Malcome Knowles defined Self Directed Learning approach as “---‘… in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes, Malcom Knowles (1975: 18).” Long back famous educationist John Dewey stated that “the most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning. So the desire to learn can form basic of learning. It is well-known fact is that when we fail to take control of our education; we fail to take control of our lives. Charles Hayes quoted that self-directed inquiry is the process of taking control of your own education----------is the lifeblood of democracy’ (Charles Hayes, 1998: xiv). He has returned to self teaching and sought to champion the idea that people should take control of their own learning and adopt self-directed inquiry as a lifelong priority. Alan Tough and Malcolm Knowles – two of the key North American promoters of self directed learning and associated notions emphasized and promoted SDL. 20th century had felt the importance and the power of a teacher. It was a way of dictatorship of a teacher. Most of the teachers used to teach the way they want to teach pupils but 21st century teachers become facilitator, motivator and source of providing insightful learning. No doubt at all, nowadays we do care of our children needs holistically. Modern teachers have more challenges but technically sound knowledge to handle kids. Just a few years ago the resources for learning were limited to interacting with printed text, or face-to-face with other people. Today, the means of communicating information are much diversified and include print, non-print, multi-media, hypertext, internet web pages, RSS feeds and social networking. (British Library and JISC, 2008). When we talk about SDL, it provides autonomy to the learner where the learner’s roles are to :- 1) Take initiative to pursue a learning experience, 2) Take responsibility for completing their learning. Once the initiative is taken, the learner assumes complete responsibility and accountability for defining the learning experience and following it through to its conclusion. This does not preclude input from others, but the final decision is the learner’s. Self-direction does not mean the learner learns alone or in isolation. While, that may be the case in any given learning situation, the critical factor here, again, is the fact the learner is driving the total learning experience, beginning with recognizing a need to learn.( Dana Skiff on June 24, 2009) Learner decides content, process or strategies to maximize learning and use their maximum capacity to grasp or learn a new thing. Teacher become motivator and a minute observer, who observes his pupils, identify the problem and counsel students by providing solution to the problem. This gives learners a sense of responsibility; however learners need complete feedback so that they can go on right direction.
  • Characteristic of Self Directed Learning: Views and Concerns of Experts 1. Generally, SDL focuses on students’ ability to self-assess their own learning needs in order to carry out activities to inquire and find out about the things they want to know (Blumberg, 2000). 2. Candy (1991), in an influential review and exploration of self-direction, suggests that there are four main ways of approaching the literature. The four distinct but related phenomenons are as follows. Self-direction as: A. A personal attribute (personal autonomy) B. The willingness and capacity to conduct one’s own education (self management). C. A mode of organizing instruction in formal settings (learner control) D. The individual, non-institutional pursuit of learning opportunities in the ‘natural social setting’ (autodidaxy). 3. Self-management has been emphasised and it has been suggested that there may be characteristics of learners that relate to their movement toward self-management (Treffinger, 1975). 4. SDL has been emphasised for gifted students, although it has been suggested that all students could engage in it (Treffinger, 1993). 5. Torrance and Mourad (1978) found that self-directed learners have a marked propensity for “right-hemisphere” tasks, such as creativity, analogy, and problem solving. 6. Learner autonomy entails the possibility for individuals to make choices (or exercise control), beginning of course with the choice of whether to learn anything at all in the first place (Candy, 1991; Long, 1993). Candy discussed valuable Learners’ Autonomy (Candy, 1991, p. 110)--------- A. An expression of self-determination (the personal disposition to pursue learning) B. An expression of self-management (the ability to exert control over one’s learning process) C. An expression of ability to structure and conduct their own learning D. Learners’ autonomy involves control over the aspects of learning usually taken over by a teacher or by a managed learning environment (MLE). They include defining learning goals, deciding on a learning sequence, choosing a workable sequencing and pacing of learning activities, and selecting learning resources (Hrimech & Bouchard, 1998). E. Learners’ autonomy is directly related to the number and magnitude of the “teaching tasks” that are appropriated by the learner (Tough, 1965). 7. In fact in ‘Self-teaching’, learners assumed responsibility for planning and directing the course of study.( Tough, 1963) 8. Self-directed learning is more in tune with our natural processes of psychological development. ‘An essential aspect of maturing is developing the ability to take increasing responsibility for our own lives – to become increasingly self-directed’ (Knowles 1975: 15). 9. A positive motivation for SDL is important as it enables a student to initiate effort to carry out SDL strategies, to find resources and to persist when running into difficulties (Wigfield, Eccles, and Rodriguez, 1998).
  • a. Within schools and classrooms students interact with their peers and teachers, and these interactions have a major influence on students’ motivation (Wigfield, Eccles, Rodriguez, 1998). Motivation is an internal state that arouses us to action, pushes us in particular directions, and keeps us engaged in certain activities. Learning and motivation are equally essential for performance; the former enables us to acquire new knowledge and skills, and the latter provides the impetus for showing what we have learned. In general, more motivated people achieve at higher levels. (Motivation and Self-Directed Learning Are Important Aspects of Achievement) 10. Inquiry requires creative and critical thinking and these are important aspects of higher order thinking. Creative thinking involves analysis and creating, while critical thinking also involves evaluation. These higher order thinking skills are described in Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive objectives (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001). 11. According to Knowles’ an educator can perform role of a guardian. He popularized five step model involved: 1. Diagnosing learning needs. 2. Formulating learning needs. 3. Identifying human material resources for learning. 4. Choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies. 5. Evaluating learning outcomes. 12. Brookfield’s (1994) mentioned the essential characteristics of a critical, rather than technical, interpretation of self-directed learning. He suggested following points: A. Self-direction as the continuous exercise by the learner of authentic control over all decisions having to do with learning. B. Self-direction as the ability to gain access to, and choose from, a full range of available and appropriate resources. 13. As a process, ‘self directed learning is a form of study in which learners have the primary responsibility for planning, carrying out and evaluating their own learning experiences’ (Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 41). As a product, as Robbie Kidd once put it, the aim ‘is to make the subject a continuing “inner-directed”, self-operating learner’ (quoted in Brookfield 1985: 18). (Dana Skiff on June 24, 2009). Learners’ autonomy involves various crucial factors. These are as follows:- Learners’ Autonomy (Candy, 1991, p. 110) A. An expression of self-determination (the personal disposition to pursue learning) B. An expression of self-management (the ability to exert control over one’s learning process) C. An expression of ability to structure and conduct their own learning D. Learners’ autonomy involves control over the aspects of learning usually taken over by a teacher or by a managed learning environment (MLE). They include defining learning goals, deciding on a learning sequence, choosing a workable sequencing and pacing of learning activities, and selecting learning resources (Hrimech & Bouchard, 1998). E. Learners’ autonomy is directly related to the number and magnitude of the “teaching tasks” that are appropriated by the learner (Tough, 1965).
  • Conclusion ‘The most important attitude that can be formed’, wrote John Dewey ‘is that of the desire to go on learning’. Self-directed learning has been defined as a process, a personality construct, and an environmentally determined phenomenon. According to Malcolm Knowles (1975: 18), there are three immediate reasons for self-directed learning. First he argues that there is convincing evidence that people who take the initiative in learning (proactive learners) learn more things, and learn better, than do people who sit at the feet of teachers passively waiting to be taught (reactive learners). ‘They enter into learning more purposefully and with greater motivation. They also tend to retain and make use of what they learn better and longer than do the reactive learners.’ (Knowles 1975: 14). Self Directed Learning is an appropriate approach of learning; however teachers’ role become more particular, exact and appropriate as a guide, and as a good leader. Teachers need to be more vigilant and observant to incorporate real learning. B.A& M.A (English) from Banaras Hindu University,(BHU) Varanasi B.Ed(English) & Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English from English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad Email. Id: rajeevbhuvns@gmail.com