The best learning approaches and outcomes involve learners' participation. The present-day learning is furnished with various forms of individual and group self-directed learning approaches. Most students who are connected to little supervision from the instructor determine their functional criteria in line with the learning outcomes. Self-directed learning is mostly achieved through collaboration as students associate with each other constructively to obtain extensive knowledge and skills which enables them to attain their desired learning goals. Most students, therefore, take ownership of their learning (Guglielmino, 2008). Self-directed learning in adult education is usually concerned with the instructor offering a general topic to let the learners decide about the remaining process and outcomes of the learning program. This exposition seeks to analyze ten pieces of literature on self-directed learning to come up with the meaning of self-directed learning in the field of Adult Education, the motivating factors for adoption of self-motivation, the significance of the approach and how to facilitate self-directed learning for adult-lifelong education.
Meaning of Self-Directed Learning
Cox, Canipe, Stockdale, Donaghy, Fogerson, and Brockett (2003) asserted that self-directed learning is a platform by which students can point out their strengths and weaknesses and possible obstacles throughout the process of achieving the goals set for the project. Self-directed learning involves various components that are in line with monitoring and management. Students allude to little guidance from the teacher to define the intended goals of learning with a well negotiated time frame that is designed for completion (Nah, 1999). The obstacles during the project and towards the achievement are determined while the teacher plays the role of an advisor as the students manage the process of learning. Self-directed learning offers a chance for students to assess their learning needs whenever they progress through the learning process (Cox, 2003). Students can identify what they need and seek help from the instructor whenever possible. Extensive support is usually offered by the instructor to enable the learners to obtain resources. Self-directed learning is mostly set forth after a thorough analysis of the ability of the students. For instance, adult students are usually examined on their ability to carry on self-directed learning after a comprehensive investigation of the needs and roles that they are affiliated to from their lives.
Motivating Factors for the Adoption of Self-Directed Learning
Hiemstra, R. (2003, p. 6) mentioned that the factors that stimulate the adoption of self-directed learning are connected to "the expectation of what the web promises. Also, the growing pervasiveness of the virtual information in all technological fields." The need to enhance learning outcome that promotes teaching and learning to be a social norm for learners enhances the promotion of self-directed learning. The need for the future to be affiliated with the changing technology that requires individuals to be creative and problem solvers. Robotham (1995) outlined the definition of self-directive learning to be connected to the ability of people to actively select an active personal style of education that is suitable for skills portfolio. Consequently, the factor that motivates self-directive learning is the fact that it allows for the choice of the most appropriate manner that alludes to the skills that the learner aims at attaining. The current model of education that is affiliated with technology offers grounds for self-motivated learning. Also, "present-day students are expected to be life-long learners" as working situations are now affiliated to advancing strategies that also depend on upcoming developments in education (Cremers, Wals, Wesselink, Nieveen & Mulder, 2014). Real-life and working environments motivates the need for self-directed learning. Hybrid-learning configuration which tends to connect to the integration between working and learning has prompted a lot in the whole process of self-integrated learning. Cremers et al. (2014) outlined that the changing demands in the labor market offer grounds for the current adult students especially the ones in vocational training centers to be lifelong learners through self-directed learning. Self-directed learning is necessitated to enable the adult learners to be able to monitor, direct and evaluate their knowledge acquisition which should be reflected throughout their working life. Another factor that motivates self-directed learning is that the process is socially affiliated, highly situated and it is usually embedded in a particular context.
Another motivational factor that necessitates self-directed learning is the fact that lifelong learning is mostly achieved in workstations through aspects of standard and practical applications. The requirements of most jobs in the constraints learners to engage in self-directed learning as the jobs require students to have an experience of self-directed learning (Guglielmino, 2008). On-going practical challenges make learning to be affiliated with various aspects of self-direction. Social practice situation that acts as an interface in most learning institutions makes learning to be mostly self-directed. Authentic and ill-structure of learning that involves assignments that are connected to real life situations makes learning to be self-motivated. Also, stakeholders in the community require individuals to as creative as possible in all their undertakings.
The effectiveness of Self-Directed Learning
Cox et al. (2003) communicated the strategies that a specific doctoral self-directed group came up with research strategies that rejuvenated the excitement and interests of the groups. The group was a list of postgraduate students thus the choice of research topic was later agreed upon to be about adult education which was the major that the doctoral group was undertaking. Robotham (1995, p. 1) mentioned that self-directed learning is "essential in adult education as it offers grounds for imparting skills beyond the confined training program." The need for an effective training program necessitates the need for self-motivated learning. Robotham (1995, p. 1) asserted that "individuals' proficiency increases by the use of self-directed approaches which at the first stage results into the trainees' uncertainties but later picks up to yield better results." The method encourages the development of broader learning style base which also offers a chance for individuals to develop the required learning capabilities to a situation whereby the learners can choose a learning style that is suitable for the outcome of the learning approach as most learning programs are concerned with their applicability in the job market. Self-directive learning enables the learner to acquire the resources that are related to the type of job that is aimed at the end of the learning program.
Guglielmino (2008) mentioned that self-directed learning contributes to individual participation and various group exploration thus enhancing the outcome of adult education. Self-directed learning fills the gaps that are produced in an education background that experiences a large number of students. Self-directed learning stimulates the need for research as the participants can constraint themselves towards the required direction to present the required learning outcomes.
How Self-Directed Learning Enhances Life-Long Learning
Self-directed learning impacts much on adult education as it offers a chance for the participants to survive and thrive in the world of change. Guglielmino (2008) asserted that "the international self-learning program stimulates various opportunities for the individuals who are interested in self-direction in the learning process." The process stimulates the urge for the students to engage in the study of the recent developments. Thus they can present their feedback through particular research in a collegial atmosphere. Through the collegial forms of research, the participants can come up with great approaches that enable them to achieve lifelong learning. The trainer can identify what motivates the individuals to be self-directed in learning, the processes that the individuals take during self-awareness, the effect of the physical and social environment during the learning process. In self-directive learning, the students tend to work with the teacher to determine the scope of the project, results, the scope of the project and decide on the proper demonstration of learning outcomes from a particular teacher generated topic. Self-directed learning in adult education is enhanced by allowing students to choose various learning outcomes and objectives to offer the learners a chance to explore their strengths and interests. Self-directed learning portrays multiple advantages. For instance, learners can define the learning goals which they wish to accomplish where they determine the factors that they want to attain with a negotiated time frame.
Guglielmino (2008) outlined that self-directed learning offers a chance for the students to carry out their research and invites the symposium to submit the papers to the school for publication. Self-directed learning improves networking among the graduate students as it creates a yoke that is concerned with the published research that might require the attention of the participants. Hiemstra (2003) outlines that self-directed learning enhances lifelong learning since it increases the chances for alluding to the approaches that improve learning to take place in a more great manner away from the traditional education setting. Hiemstra (2003) also mentions that self-directed learning offers grounds for the application of the four measurement tools.
The Significance of Self-Directed Learning
Canipe and Brockett (2003) asserted that self-directed learning had shown a list of relevant factors concerning boosting research and placing the research done in adult education to be at the forefront of practice both in the digital world and in the adult education program. Self-directed learning has proved its importance as it can be incorporated in the motion of the stream of inquiry which validates research in today's education systems. Brookfield (1984) self-directed learning offers adults a practical approach towards the performance of tasks that require study and creativity. Therefore, self-directed learning offers a chance for adult learners to gain the practical approach to the solution of problems that exist in their workplace. The interaction that collaborative approaches of self-directed learning offer to the adults enable the learners to develop skills that are relevant for social connections and virtual appeal of the participants. Self-directed learning is like empowerment to the adults' to participate in various approaches to solving problems in the current world.
Self-directed learning increases the ownership of knowledge as it impacts skills of working in groups and considering learning outcomes that are viable for practice. The reason why the participants and not the teacher generate self-directed offers grounds for learners to be active participants thus knowledge. The type of learning enables students to have an opportunity to ponder, wonder and be active in the process of knowledge creation. The pace of education is in the hands of the learners. Thus the required learning outcomes can be achieved by the use of self-directed learning. Another importance is that self-directed learning enables the students to focus on the topics that fascinate them, they can explore issues and learners can cast full nets in life-reaching matters....
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