1 Gajin

Self Directed Learning Essays

In recent years, educators have come to focus more and more on the importance of lab-based experimentation, hands-on participation, student-led inquiry, and the use of "manipulables" in the classroom. The underlying rationale seems to be that students are better able to learn when they can control the flow of their experience, or when their learning is "self-directed."

While the benefits of self-directed learning are widely acknowledged, the reasons why a sense of control leads to better acquisition of material are poorly understood.

Some researchers have highlighted the motivational component of self-directed learning, arguing that this kind of learning is effective because it makes students more willing and more motivated to learn. But few researchers have examined how self-directed learning might influence cognitive processes, such as those involved in attention and memory.

In an article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Todd Gureckis and Douglas Markant of New York University address this gap in understanding by examining the issue of self-directed learning from a cognitive and a computational perspective.

According to Gureckis and Markant, research from cognition offers several explanations that help to account for the advantages of self-directed learning. For example, self-directed learning helps us optimize our educational experience, allowing us to focus effort on useful information that we don't already possess and exposing us to information that we don't have access to through passive observation. The active nature of self-directed learning also helps us in encoding information and retaining it over time.

But we're not always optimal self-directed learners. The many cognitive biases and heuristics that we rely on to help us make decisions can also influence what information we pay attention to and, ultimately, learn.

Gureckis and Markant note that computational models commonly used in machine learning research can provide a framework for studying how people evaluate different sources of information and decide about the information they seek out and attend to. Work in machine learning can also help identify the benefits -- and weaknesses -- of independent exploration and the situations in which such exploration will confer the greatest benefit for learners.

Drawing together research from cognitive and computational perspectives will provide researchers with a better understanding of the processes that underlie self-directed learning and can help bridge the gap between basic cognitive research and applied educational research. Gureckis and Markant hope that this integration will help researchers to develop assistive training methods that can be used to tailor learning experiences that account for the specific demands of the situation and characteristics of the individual learner.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. M. Gureckis, D. B. Markant. Self-Directed Learning: A Cognitive and Computational Perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2012; 7 (5): 464 DOI: 10.1177/1745691612454304


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "What makes self-directed learning effective?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004134843.htm>.

Association for Psychological Science. (2012, October 4). What makes self-directed learning effective?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 13, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004134843.htm

Association for Psychological Science. "What makes self-directed learning effective?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004134843.htm (accessed March 13, 2018).

Self Directed Learning Essay

Self-directed learning has been a central part of the Ohio’s Science & Engineering Talent Expansion Program (OSTEP) and the Pre-Freshman and Cooperative Education (PREFACE) Program. Through various activities and assignment, students are challenged to become actively involved in their own learning. For example, an independent research project allowed the students to design their own experiments and report their findings. In this way, the students did not learn their knowledge from books or from professors. Rather, they gathered knowledge on their own, which might help improving retention. Reading through the literature on this type of learning, it becomes clear that many people believe that self-directed learning is a better approach than the traditional, teacher-directed learning. However, this approach is not necessarily a good fit for everybody. Self-directed learning is better for students who are willing to take initiative and are interested in the subject, while traditional learning is better for people who are not interested in learning a subject.
In the traditional approach to teaching, the teachers are sole source of knowledge. They decide what the learners need to know and communicate that knowledge from books and from their own experience. In addition, they tell the learner how to learn the materials, and decide on a way to test the learners’ understanding of the subject. The responsibility of the learner is to absorb all of these materials and then demonstrate their understanding in the manner indicated by the teachers. The learners are motivated externally, for example, by grades and other rewards. In addition, the approach assumes that the learners have less experience or that their experiences are less important than the experiences of the teachers and the experts (“Self-directed Learning”). This approach may be describes as being one-size-fits-all. Learners with various differences are taught using the same curriculum by the same teachers.
Self-directed learning, in contrast, is centered on the learner. It assumes that the learners are motivated internally by, for example, their needs for esteem. Additionally, it assumes that, as the learners progress, they gain experience that can be used in conjunction with the teachers’ and the experts’ experience. Lastly, it assumes that, since self-direction is a necessary part of maturing, self-directed learning helps the learners develop this habit of independence (“Self-directed Learning”). In this approach, the teachers are not the source of knowledge, but rather supervisors that provide guidance to help students in their study. Self-directed learning, in theory, caters to the individual learners with specific attitude, learning styles, and experiences.
However, because of these assumptions, this approach is arguably incompatible with many people. First, not all people are internally motivated. Many adults are, in fact, externally motivated by the fact that education will help them...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Adult Education Essay

596 words - 2 pages Adult Education Education is the most important activity that every human should be an active partaker. Education is an activity that is designed to bring about changes in the knowledge, skills, attitudes and perceptions of individuals, groups or communities. Adult learning does not occur in a vacuum. What one needs or wants to learn, what opportunities are available, the manner in which one learns-all are to a large extent determined...

My Learning Profile Essay

718 words - 3 pages In taking the four learning profile tests, I found that they were accurate in describing my peak learning times, how I tackle new topics, how I most enjoy learning new topics, and what my strongest intelligences are. Now that I have armed myself with this knowledge, it will help me to learn new subjects, as well as make these subjects more enjoyable. The first test that I took was Your Peak and Valley Learning Times (Gross, 1999, p....

becoming a self regulated learner

1622 words - 6 pages Critical Analysis Assessment Becoming a self-regulated Learner: An overview Title Zimmerman, B.J., 2002, 'Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: An Overview', Theory Into Practice, vol. 41, no.2, pp. 64-70. Topic The main idea in this article is to show how self-regulated learning would be beneficial to academic success. It describes the functions of self-regulatory processes and how students can benefit from learning on...

Adult Education Program Design

2934 words - 12 pages Introduction Great Tread designs, markets, and manufactures custom safety floor matting from their corporate offices and manufacturing plant located in Tyler, Texas. Great Tread serves their national and international accounts and employs 875 people. The company garners a sizeable market share of this ever growing and demanding industry. Great Tread designs, manufactures, markets, and sells safety mats, anti-fatigue mats, logo mats,...

Creating a Campus Proposal Using Work Groups

1702 words - 7 pages Introduction Over the past few decades, much emphasis has been put on research concerning various aspects of life such as social, physical, economic and psychological issues of students in the university (Punch 23). Various models have also been used to analyze data that has been collected in these various studies so as to bring a clear picture of the issue at hand. In the past few years, many researches have indicated that self-directed learning...

Adult Education and Adult Learning Analysis

1484 words - 6 pages It is my conviction that the noble profession of instructing teachers is the greatest, most powerful contributor to nation building. Teachers, within the school system, have the responsibility of imparting knowledge, acting as agents of socialization, creating responsible, productive members of society and guiding students towards the achievement of their goals. It is, therefore, important that great emphasis be placed on training teachers,...

How to Apply Malcolm Knowles' Theories in Training work

2462 words - 10 pages This essay is to consider and discuss how I might apply the theories of Malcolm Knowles, in my own current or future training work. The essay will include a brief biography on Malcolm Knowles, and his theory on adult education / learning andragogy, to include definitions of andragogy and pedagogy, which has been the mainstay of all education theory for hundreds of years. The main body of the essay will discuss and differentiate andragogy from...

Adult Learning Theory: Andragogy

1030 words - 4 pages When discussing the adult learning theory, andragogy is the best model for higher learning in adult education. Andragogy comes from the Greek word aner which means man and agogus which means leading (Knowles, 1980). The full translation means learning of adults. Andragogy was first used in the 1800s by a German teacher named Alex Kapp (Wang, 2011). It would not be until the late 1960s that a professor by the name of Malcolm S. Knowles...

Adult Development and Behavior

579 words - 2 pages Adulthood and aging is mid-life transition that happens to individuals typically ranging from thirties to late fifties. It is a natural process and is normal part of maturing. These experiences at mid-life can occur naturally or result from some significant changes that can inevitably occur at some point in time. Coming to terms with such changes can be difficult enough, but when it is complicated by mid-life transition, the process can...

The Advantages of a Humanistic Approach in Adult Education

2274 words - 9 pages Introduction Behaviourism is the analysis of observable behaviour (Driscoll, 2005, p. 29). There is no doubt about the influence that behaviourism has had on education. It has been used in many situations that call for behaviour modification. These modification methods are taught to adults who will use them to change their own behaviour when they wish to lose weight, quit smoking, or alter another aspect of how they behave. Behaviourism as a...

Education: Learning Environments

1299 words - 5 pages Learning environments that effectively meet the needs of adult students build upon the wealth of knowledge in the classroom, are student-driven, and have direct application to the problems of the adult's everyday life. In this essay, I will reflect upon a traditional learning experience that I experienced as an early college student. Additionally, using Knowles' theory of adult learning, I will consider how the experience could have been adapted....

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *