ERIC Number: ED300627
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Qualitative Research on Self-Directed Learning.
Caffarella, Rosemary S.
Only eight recent studies clearly fit the parameters of qualitative research on self-directed learning. Four of the studies appear to fit the more traditional notion of what the qualitative paradigm is all about, in that they are exploratory in nature. The remaining four studies focus more on the expansion of earlier ideas that had been generated by previous research on self-directed learning. The number of subjects for all but one study can be characterized as "normal" for studies that are qualitative in nature (sizes ranged from 10 to 33). What is interesting is that in general they appear more broadly based in terms of the educational and socieconomic background of the subjects than the quantitative studies. The data collection technique used most often was the unstructured or semistructured interview. An examination of these studies as a group indicates that the key contribution the authors have provided to the knowledge on self-directed learning is a more in-depth picture of how individual learners go about organizing, doing, and evaluating their own learning. These findings provide a fruitful direction for future research on self-directed learning. (YLB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Tulsa, OK, November 1988).