Self-directed/self-determined/self-regulated learning

I guess that I’ve never really taken a close look at the differences between these 3 types of self-learning. I always thought that self-directed learning related more to learning online. But Andragogy refers to self-directed learning (single loop learning). Heutagogy refers to self-determined learning (double loop learning) and is more relevant to distance education. Here’s a good article on Heutagogy and lifelong learning that explains the self-determined learner and how it relates to distance education instead of the self-directed learning that I originally thought it was. According to self-determination, 3 basic psychological needs affect motivation: autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Autonomy- does not refer to independence but to the desire to have control over one’s own life and to make decisions based on personal preferences.

Competence-Feeling competent and having a sense of self-efficacy can be highly motivating.

Relatedness-refers to social aspects of the learning experiences-the sense that students feel they have a connection to the instructor and classmates.

Great article on self-determination. Needs that affect motivation are: autonomy (desire to have control over one’s own life), competence (feeling competentand relatedness (students feel they have a connection to the instructor and classmates). It gives me a better understanding now of self-determination.

Here’s a great table that shows a comparison between teacher directed learning and self-directed learning.

          Teacher Directed Learning                   Self Directed Learning
Assumes the learner is essentially a dependent personality and that the teacher has the responsibility what and how the learner should
be taught.
Assumes that the human being grows in capacity (and need) to be self-directing as an essential component of maturing, and that this capacity should be nurtured to develop as rapidly as possible.
Assumes that the learner’s experience is of less value than that of the teacher, the textbook, the textbook writers and materials producers as a resource for learning, and that therefore the teacher has the responsibility to see to it that the
resource of these experts are ransmitted to the learner.
Assumes that the learner’s experiences become an increasingly rich resource for learning, which should be exploited along with the resources of experts.
Assumes that students enter into education with a subject-centered orientation to learning (they see learning as accumulating subject matter and that therefore learning experiences should be organized according to units of content. Assumes that the students natural orientation is task or problem centered and that therefore learning experiences should be organized as task accomplishments or problem solving learning projects (or inquiry units).
Assumes that students are motivated to learn in response to external rewards and punishments, such as grades, diplomas, awards, degrees, and
fear of failure.
Assumes that learners are motivated by internal incentives, such as the need for self-esteem, the desire to achieve, the urge to grow, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the need to know something specific, and curiosity.

Seeing this written down with the comparisons makes it easier to understand the direct differences. Interesting that the self-directed learner is motivated by internal incentives only with the satisfaction of accomplishment and curiosity and doesn’t require any external rewards for motivation. In the forum involving questioning techniques, one of the main reasons for asking questions was curiosity as well. So, maybe then a self-directed learner might ask more questions to fulfill their curiosity? Could it also be that a self-directed learner may be more of a life-long learner due to their need to know something and their desire to achieve their curiosity?

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