✎✎✎ Critical Reflection: Self-Regulated Learning

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Critical Reflection: Self-Regulated Learning

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My Reflections on Personalised and Self-Regulated Learning

Importantly, children can start to consider possible solutions, from reuse and safe recycling to ways in which they and their families can reduce their use of plastics, as well as looking into how they might replace it. Working together to share their findings, using oracy, literacy, numeracy and graphicacy skills, children can be encouraged to make creative and insightful proposals and decisions, connecting their studies with SMSC and citizenship, to explore how they may make a difference.

Children can then meaningfully develop and deepen their understanding and application of geographical knowledge and skills. Geography curriculum making is premised on teachers and children having agency in developing their geographical studies within subject or cross-curricular topics Catling, Catling and Willy, To be effective curriculum makers — providing rich, broad and balanced learning for children and opportunities for them to apply and adapt their learning for other subjects — we must be clear about just what geography is and why it is important to learn.

Through active engagement in primary geography, children are enabled to learn not only about the world but also how it works, how it fits together and how to make a difference and become positive contributors to it. Open access See all. Celebrating and supporting the voices and actions of children and young people November Can we help improve wider school outcomes through youth social action? November Youth social action: What are the benefits for careers education? CPD Packs Themed article collections.

Popular Now Week Month. Curriculum design in context 0 Comments 12 min read. London: Bloomsbury. Boardman D Graphicacy and Geography Teaching. London: Croom Helm. The Curriculum Journal 24 3 : — The Curriculum Journal 22 3 : — London: SAGE. Lawrie G How our school is using virtual reality. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Candy [ 26 ] uses two interacting dimensions in his definition of self-directed learning. One dimension is control within an institutional setting. The opposite extreme is where the learner has full control over the learning experience.

According to Candy, self-direction is an outcome of the interaction between a person and the environment. In his opinion, the focus on autonomy has limited the understanding of self-directed learning, leading to a mismatch when implementing it in an educational setting. If the learner lacks appropriate skills or self-confidence for self-directed learning, the opportunity to be autonomous is purposeless. In this dimension, the student makes the decisions about learning, such as what is to be learned, what are the learning activities, when and where will the learning activities take place, and how to evaluate the learning outcomes. Brockett and Hiemstra [ 27 ] also use two dimensions in their definition. The first one is personal responsibility in the teaching-learning process.

In this dimension, self-direction is a process where learners assume primary responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating the learning process. In this dimension, self-directed learning is referred to as a goal. Learners may have control over their response to a situation even if they do not have control over the actual circumstances in which they need to react [ 27 , 28 ]. There are many other definitions of self-directed learning. Dehnad et al. This is part of the terminological confusion Van der Walt points to, which leads to communication difficulties when discussing self-directed learning [ 12 ], p. Abdullah [ 30 ] states that there may be slight variations in how different educators define it, but a survey of the literature on the subject identifies several tenets that are central to the concept.

Self-directed learning views learners as responsible owners and managers of their own learning process [ 30 ]. Long [ 28 ] identifies three dimensions of self-directed learning: sociological, pedagogical, and psychological. The sociological dimension emphasizes the social isolation of the learner, claiming that self-directed learning is usually associated with social independence in the learning situation. Then, learning will take place independently of others in a socially isolated situation [ 31 ], p. Web-based learning might be an example of self-directed learning in a sociological sense. A main point is that the learning activities should not be determined by one or another social authority. This is the autonomous, independent individual undertaking learning for personal growth [ 16 ].

Whether the learning can be defined as self-directed depends on the degree of freedom when it comes to determining learning goals and influence on planning, implementation, and evaluation, as well as other things associated with the pedagogical parts of learning activities. Seen from the pedagogy side, self-direction can be learned and developed and is considered a goal. This means that self-directed learning can take place without social isolation. Self-directed learning can take place in groups as well or in cooperation with institutions or others. Neither social isolation nor total independence is necessary.

Psychological self-direction is about the personal characteristics of the learner, including focus on necessary abilities and skills to carry out self-directed learning. Psychologically, self-directed learning is a question of to what extent the learner maintains an active control of the learning process. The mental activities are in focus. The most important are not the external factors but the inner psychological control in the learning situation. Here, Long underlines the importance of the individual experiencing a personal control of the learning situation, despite external factors. Long [ 28 ] argues that psychological self-directedness is necessary for self-directed learning, meaning that the learner must take the responsibility for a critical judgement of the content.

In his view, when the learner is not in active control of the learning process, it is not psychological self-directedness. Long [ 28 ] claims that much of the discussion on dimensions of self-directed learning has focused on the sociological and pedagogical and that the psychological dimension is generally ignored. His focus is on the interaction of two dimensions, namely, pedagogical and psychological control. Pedagogical control, as he defines, is the degree of freedom to determine learning goals, seek resources, and set the mode of evaluation. Psychological control, as he defines, is the degree of willingness to maintain active control of the learning process. When these two forms of control are equal or the psychological control exceeds pedagogical control, he defines the situation as a self-directed learning condition.

Loyens et al. They conclude that even scholars in educational psychology have suggested that the terms have often been used interchangeably in the literature. With no doubt, at first sight, self-directed learning and self-regulated learning seem highly similar [ 34 ], p. However, the degree of control the learner has, specifically at the beginning of the learning process when the learning task is defined, differs in SDL and SRL.

In SDL, the learning task is always defined by the learner. A self-directed learner should be able to define what needs to be learned. In SRL, the learning task can be generated by the teacher. Makonye [ 37 ] compares self-directed learning SDL , self-regulated learning SRL , and problem-based learning PBL and concludes that they have similarities referring to the greater responsibilities of the students in learning situations. Students assume varying levels of control over the learning situation. Makonye claims that the differences mainly relate to the amount of freedom of the learners in a learning setting. There is no consistent theoretical perspective underlying the study of self-direction, according to Candy [ 10 ]. However, self-directed learning is evidently grounded in humanistic assumptions.

The humanist philosophy was an inspiration for adult educators looking for an alternative to the traditions of pedagogy and influenced the conceptualizing of adult education [ 38 ]. Humanistic theory regards each human being as unique, and this uniqueness calls for an individualized approach to learning. It regards self-direction as the process, as well as the end product of learning. The motivation to learning is intrinsic and emanates from the learner. Humanistic theory has as a purpose to produce individuals who have the potential for self-actualization and are self-directed and internally motivated [ 39 ], p.

Self-actualization is to fulfill your potentiality and is the highest level of human growth. From this point of view, an individual is seen as the best judge of whether his or her learning meets his or her needs and interests. The teacher is a facilitator or a partner in the learning process. However, the concept of humanism is multifaceted and ambiguous. There are different tendencies that are partly in conflict with each other. The humanism mentioned above should be called romantic humanism, which is influenced to a great extent by humanistic psychology in the s, with Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers as central representatives [ 23 , 40 ].

Romantic humanism emphasizes to a great extent that the human being has the power for personal development. This is unlike traditional humanism, which considers the human being as an individual with a need to be shaped from the outside, having a need for some sort of upbringing. Some cues for romantic humanism are freedom, dignity, self-awareness, self-realization, and the development of the whole human potential. Arsic [ 41 ] discusses three educational theorists in relation to self-directed learning. In addition to the progressivist John Dewey, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Alexander Neill are also described as the real forefathers of self-directed learning. Arsic also discusses two theories of psychology in relation to self-directed learning.

Arsic [ 41 ] argues that the relation of these theories to self-directed learning is obvious. With reference to Piaget, curiosity is the key to acquiring knowledge and to learn new things in a meaningful way. With reference to Vygotsky and the concept of scaffolding, Arsic [ 41 ] accentuates the role of the teacher in promoting an environment conducive to self-directed learning. From the sociological side, Arsic particularly calls attention to critical pedagogy, with focus on awareness and conscientisation. Garrison [ 14 ], p. Critical means to judge and not take things for granted. To Mezirow [ 43 ], a key dimension of self-directedness is critical awareness of meaning and self-knowledge.

He states that a critical and self-reflective attitude is a fundamental element of self-direction and is necessary when it comes to personal responsibility for your opinions and actions. For some, this may be the reason for adapting self-directed learning and, to others, a reason for rejecting it. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing need of self-directed learners in society and work life. That alone should be a reasonable argument for increased focus on this approach to learning.

In the following, some findings and statements on the benefits of self-directed learning are reported. Knowles [ 8 ] maintains that there is convincing evidence that people who take the initiative in learning learn more and learn better than people who are passively being taught. Self-initiated learners have a greater and more purposeful motivation and tend to apply, to a greater extent, the knowledge they have learned in their daily lives. Suanmali [ 44 ] refers to a study indicating that self-initiated and responsible action proved far more effective than guided action. The self-directed learners feel good about themselves as learners.

They feel they can successfully make decisions that are related to their learning needs, and they see themselves developing autonomy with respect to these decisions. Furthermore, they are much more likely to feel successful as learners than the teacher-directed counterparts. Suanmali [ 44 ] states that, in the maturing process, many components are involved, one of which is the self-directing capability, that is, the greater the capacity for becoming a self-directing person is, the more tendency there is to be a mature person.

This quality of being mature characterizes and differentiates adults from children. Brockett [ 45 ] suggests that older adults who learn to be more self-directed have the potential to increase independence and life satisfaction. Grover et al. The literature on the benefits of self-directed learning among older adults, in particular, is not as well-established as outcomes mature adults experience from learning generally, but there is evidence that a positive relationship exists [ 46 ].

Jenkins [ 47 ] carried out a longitudinal study on the relationship between well-being and participation in learning by older adults. His findings show that informal learning, in this case, through activities such as education, music and arts groups, and exercise classes, can enhance the well-being. However, his research also revealed that this was truer for those with some higher education than for those who had little or none. Moreover, a central argument for self-directed learning is that it has a potential to improve the quality of learning outcomes both in the short and in the long term [ 13 ], and it is also an essential skill to be acquired for the promotion of life-long learning [ 48 ]. Kuhn and Ho [ 42 ] also suggest that self-direction is of potential importance for the enhancement of cognitive development.

However, they say that much more research is required to make such generalizations with confidence. Another argument for increased focus on self-directed learning is societal and technological changes worldwide. The world has changed vastly since the term self-directed learning appeared half a century ago. The rapid rate of political, social, and technological change with which we are currently confronted has increased rather than diminished the need for self-directed citizens [ 10 , 49 ]. The technological development at the workplace and in society, as a whole, requires unique skills and abilities.

The workplace is of growing importance for learning, leading to an increasing need of self-directed learners, mainly because of more responsive and cost-effective learning infrastructures [ 50 ]. According to Guglielmino and Guglielmino [ 51 ], the self-directed learner is the cornerstone of the learning organization. Skills and knowledge are not durable; continuous learning is required. Organizations should be aware of not making barriers for or discouraging self-directed learners.

Rana et al. To develop the knowledge base of the organization, the individual members of the organization should have the capacity to be self-directed learners. This is of considerable importance for the development of a learning organization, as well as the development of employees at all levels [ 52 ]. Another social and political issue where self-directed learning may have a potential role is how to develop democratic citizenship skills.

Critical theorists like Freire [ 54 ] and Mezirow [ 43 ] also make sense of self-directed learning because it clears the way for critical awareness. Gelpi [ 55 ] states that self-directed learning, from a social point of view, means a danger to oppressors because it makes it more difficult for the oppressive power to keep control. Whether self-direction is natural or learned is of considerable importance to how this learning approach should be treated in a learning situation.

Is the ability to self-direction essentially innate or is it a skill that must be learned? Are learners self-directed because they are adults or is it a skill that must be learned? These are central issues in this context. According to Knowles [ 7 , 18 ], adults have a deep psychological need of being perceived by others as self-directed. However, research shows that adults are not necessarily naturally self-directed. Brookfield [ 15 ], p. Seen from a prescriptive point of view, self-direction is a goal that should be pursued in learning situations and becomes a sort of primary goal in adult education to help make adults more self-directed.

Self-directing ability refers to how adults ought to be, but it is not a general description of adults. A self-educator needs to know how to learn effectively [ 44 ], p. Thus, the role of an educator is to assist the learners so that they are able to meet the demands and requirements of these learning situations. Program designers and adult education agencies or institutions also need to be involved in this effort. Tough [ 4 , 5 ] concluded that adults spend much time on what he called learning projects. Still, it is likely to believe that the tendency to self-direction is not equally predominant in all situations or in all social and cultural contexts.

Chronological age is of little or no importance, he stated. Females and respondents in the age category 46—55 scored significantly higher than males and respondents in the three other age groups. This shows the difficulty in drawing a definite answer to this issue. Is it possible to assess the degree of readiness for self-directed learning? Guglielmino [ 59 ] developed an instrument for the purpose of assessing the degree of readiness for self-directed learning perceived by individuals. It is easier to learn new things about ourselves if we just add it to prior knowledge.

So, from one point of view, motivation for self-directed learning can arise out of a desire not to learn anything new. In other words, new knowledge is okay if it is not contrary to what you know already. The tendency to self-direction is not only affected by personal characteristics of the learner. Studies referred to in the following show that sociodemographic factors such as nationality, ethnicity, social class, employment status, and local culture are important factors in this context. One of these studies is carried out by Adenuga [ 57 ]. He brings up demographic variables, such as nationality and degree program, as the most predictive factors regarding readiness for self-directed learning.

In general, there is also a dearth of research on self-directed learning about adults in developing countries, in his opinion. A new data mining section in Chapter 1 gives students a basic understanding of the goals and methods of data mining, important as it becomes more prevalent in education and related fields. New Chapter Critique sections and Reflection Questions at the end of each of the first eleven chapters help give readers a fuller and more nuanced understanding of theories and the research around them.

A number of new content sections can be found throughout the text, including: A new section on positive behavior supports — what they are and how they can be used to facilitate learning — can be found in Chapter 3. A new section on metacognition and epistemic thinking , increasingly important topics in the field of learning, has been added to Chapter 7. A new section on Neo-Piagetian theories , which combine Piagetian constructions with information processing principles, can be found in Chapter 8. A new section on self-regulation and technology can be found in Chapter A new section on future developments , which will give students insight into notable trends in both research and practice, can be found in Chapter Coverage of growing topics with new research has been added throughout the text.

Neuroscience coveragein Chapter 2 has been expanded. Constructivism coverage in Chapter 8 has been expanded. Contextual influences on learning coverage in Chapter 11 has been expanded. Over new references have been added, and several outdated references have been removed. Dozens of new terms and definitions have been added to the glossary. Table of Contents 1. About the Author s. Previous editions. Relevant Courses. Sign In We're sorry! Username Password Forgot your username or password? Sign Up Already have an access code? Instructor resource file download The work is protected by local and international copyright laws and is provided solely for the use of instructors in teaching their courses and assessing student learning.

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