ERIC Number: ED435834
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Self-Directed Learning. Myths and Realities No. 3.
In one school of thought, self-directed learning (SDL) is based in the autonomous, independent individual who chooses to undertake learning for personal growth. However, another school of thought stresses the social construction of knowledge and the social context of learning. Some writers challenge the exclusive emphasis on the autonomous self when discussing SDL and call for wider recognition of the interdependent and collaborative aspects of SDL. Several researchers have identified promotion of emancipatory learning and social action as a goal of SDL. However, serious obstacles to realization of SDL's emancipatory potential exist. Included among them are organizational cultures that limit learner control over the environment and the often-limited access of marginalized or low-income groups to the Internet. The speed of information proliferation and the complexities of new social networks and workplace transformation will make SDL abilities imperative. It is possible that upcoming generations, especially those for whom the Web is becoming a natural habitat, are adapting to change by developing an SDL orientation. Whether SDL is individual or collective, emancipatory or oppressive, inevitable or not, the biggest misconception may be in trying to capture the essence of SDL in a single definition. (Contains 18 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.