ERIC Number: ED402442
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Towards an Etiological Model of Self-Directed Professional Development.
The role that individual learning proficiency, individual personality characteristics, and chance occurrences in the learner's environment play in self-directed professional development was examined through semistructured interviews with a purposeful sample of eight professional men and women of high achievement with no postsecondary schooling in their field. The interviewees were recognized professionals in the following fields: computer analysis; structural engineering; media technology; accounting; training/human resource development; journalism; computer research systems; and management/news media. The interviews were transcribed, and a word processor-based qualitative analysis technique was used to extract 529 quotes that were then reduced to a set of 155 paraphrased statements to eliminate duplication. The framework for the content analysis was derived from a literature review. The analysis results were formulated into a model of self-directed professional development incorporating the following elements: strongly felt need for self-development; set of self-ascribed values, characteristics, and beliefs; "autodidactic leap" (a leap in self-directed learning that is the result of environmental pressures and opportunities and that was described by all interviewees); environmental factors identified as "opportunities to learn"; and unfolding of successive learning objectives linked to learners' growing awareness of their professional field. It was observed that the informants perceived learning as a very real means to solve very real problems, and that hostile conditions only seemed to strengthen their resolve to succeed. It is this "problem-solving" quality that makes self-directed learning, in the context of professional development, more likely (and not, as was expected, less likely), to occur in conditions marked by a prevalence of opposing factors. (Contains 13 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada