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  1. 1. Teachers and learners perspectives on autonomy The author: Phil Benson Hong Kong Institute of Education Group 9 Presenter : Nguyễn Ngọc An
  2. 2. GENERAL PRESENTATION PART 1: Introduction PART 2: Personal autonomy PART 3: Autonomy in learning The teacher’s perspectives The learner’s perspectives PART 4: Conclusion
  3. 3. PART 1: Introduction 1. In the literature on language teaching and learning, there are many variations upon the basic idea of autonomy. The problem is to explain how these different ways of representing autonomy and putting it into practice may be linked to broader political, ideological or philosophical outlooks.
  4. 4. PART 1: Introduction 2. According to Phil Benson, the term “ perspective ” refers to a way of viewing a phenomenon that is conditioned both by an individuals position in a power-inflected role relationship and by the experience that the individual acquires within this relationship.
  5. 5. PART 1: Introduction 3. From the teachers perspective, autonomy: + Primarily concerned with institutional and classroom learning arrangements within established curricula. + Tending to imply the learner taking control of arrangements whose underlying legitimacy is unquestioned.
  6. 6. PART 1: Introduction 4. From the learners perspective, autonomy: primarily concerned with learning, in a much broader sense, and its relationship to their lives beyond the classroom
  7. 7. PART 1: Introduction 5. The idea of autonomy in language learning is often represented as a radically learn-er-centred idea and it has evolved over the past thirty years.
  8. 8. PART 1: Introduction6. In this lesson, the author (Phil Benson) will focuson : + The liberal concept of personal autonomy as it iscurrently understood in the field of moral and politicalphilosophy. + Personal autonomy gives both teachers andlearners an interest in autonomy in language learning.+ The investigations of the empirical validity ofthese assumptions by exploring teach-ers andlearners interests in autonomy in greater depth.
  9. 9. PART 2: Personal autonomy"the free choice of goals and relations as an essentialingredient of individual well-being" (Raz 1986: 369)  defining the senses in which a liberal societyshould value and protect individual freedom.  a meaningful conception of freedom must bebased on the idea of autonomy as a characteristic ofindividual lives. (Wall ,2003: 307-308)
  10. 10. PART 2: Personal autonomy Autonomy does not, therefore, imply freedom of action on any given occasion, but rather a more general idea that the individual should "freely direct the course of his or her own life" (Young 1986: 19).
  11. 11. PART 2: Personal autonomyAccording to Wall (2003: 308), to realize autonomy, oneneeds several things: (1) the capacity to form complex intentions and to  refer to mental capacities and virtues sustain commitments
  12. 12. PART 2: Personal autonomy (2) the independencenecessary to chart onesown course through life  refers to ones relations and to develop ones with other per-sons whoown under-standing of could exercise power over what is valuable and one worth doing
  13. 13. PART 2: Personal autonomy (3) the self- consciousness and vigor  refer to mentalnecessary to take capacities and virtues control of ones affairs
  14. 14. PART 2: Personal autonomy (4) access to an environment that  refers to theprovides one with a environment in which wide range of one lives valuable options
  15. 15. PART 2: Personal autonomy- Autonomy requires some degree of freedom fromtwo basic kinds of constraints: internal and exter-nal.- In regard to internal constraints, individuals mustacquire certain psychological capacities (Elements 1and 3).- In regard to external constraints, there must be somedegree of freedom from other-direction (Element 2)and an environment in which meaningful options aremade available (Element 4).
  16. 16. PART 2: Personal autonomy- Personal autonomy is, in this sense, an attribute ofthe socially-constituted individual.- This conception of personal autonomy constitutes thefundamental ground for the idea of autonomy inlearning.  The liberal-humanist view strongly implies thatwe must learn to be autonomous, but it does notspecify the kind of learning required
  17. 17. PART 3: Autonomy in learningTheory of autonomy in language learning draws itsmeaning for the term „autonomy‟ from the concept ofpersonal autonomy QUESTIONS:1. What kinds of learning best lead towards the goal of personal autonomy?2. What can teachers do to help learners move towardsthe goal of personal autonomy?3. What can learners do to help themselves movetowards the goal of personal autonomy?
  18. 18. PART 3: Autonomy in learning A. The teacher’s perspectives- Be manifested in a number of ways in the literatureon autonomy in learning- Focusing on the ways in which we conceptualizeautonomy in learning in terms of dimensions ofcapacity and situational freedom- They are both capable of leading autonomous livesand free to do so
  19. 19. PART 3: Autonomy in learning- The term autonomy is used to refer either to apersons capacity to lead such a life or to somecondition of situational freedom that facilitates theexercise of this capacity.-Boud (1981: 30) asks about the nature of autonomy asa goal of education: "Is it to produce an autonomous person - a product-oriented approach - or is it to introduce activitieswhich re-quire students to act autonomously - aprocess-oriented approach?”
  20. 20. PART 3: Autonomy in learning- Holecs (1981: 3) widely quoted definition ofautonomy as the "ability" to take charge of ones ownlearning ran somewhat against the grain of the times.- Autonomous learners : persons who possess both thecapacity and the freedom to steer their own learning inthe direction of personal autonomy.
  21. 21. PART 3: Autonomy in learning1. Benson (1997) : three different "versions" of autonomy in learning (technical, psycho-logical and political)2. Benson (2001) : three "levels of control" over learning (concerned with learning management, cog-nitive processing and the content of learning)
  22. 22. PART 3: Autonomy in learning3. Littlewood (1999: 75) : a distinctionbetween "proactive" and "reactive"autonomy based on two levels of self-regulation4. Smith (2003a: 130-132): distinctionbetween "strong" and "weak" pedagogiesfor autonomy
  23. 23. PART 3: Autonomy in learning B. The learner’s perspectives:The learners perspective on autonomy in learning is related tothe question:1. What can I do in my learning to help myself towards thegoal of per-sonal autonomy?2. What can learners do to help themselves move towards thegoal of personal autonomy?Learn-ers perspectives on autonomy are alwayscontextualized within particular experi-ences of learning andlife.
  24. 24. PART 4: Conclusion-We should work towards a more complex view of therequirements for autonomy and of the relationshipbetween autonomy in learning and autonomy in life.- The teachers perspective on autonomy may involvea degree of self-deception, in which concerns for ourown autonomy may find expression in concerns forthe autonomy of our learners.
  25. 25. PART 4: Conclusion-The idea of autonomy in learning is grounded in theliberal-hu-manist conception of personal autonomy.- We should perhaps pay more attention to theliterature on autonomy beyond ourfield in order torefine and make explicit the underlying conceptions ofautonomy with which we work.