Andragogy & self-directed learning
Self-directed learning is the theory one most often sees as applicable for adult learning. “In its broadest meaning, self-directed learning describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with or without the assistance 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” (Loeng, 2020). This theory is directly opposing a teacher-centred approach.
In self-directed learning the student must have the autonomy or at least a degree of autonomy to determine learning goals, planning and implementation of the learning path, and assessment (Loeng, 2020). Universities’ goal is to send students out into the workforce, not only with a thorough theoretical or subject knowledge but also with the much needed 21st century skills. Therefore, I think the self-directed theory should be strongly propagated in especially higher education.
I would like to hear your view on how self-directed learning can be incorporated in the teaching and learning approach. Do you think self-direction is innate or is it a skill that must be learned? And how will that influence teachers’ approach in applying this theory?