ERIC Number: ED436654
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of Self-Directed Professionals of High Attainment.
The determinants of self-directed learning (SDL) among professionals of high attainment were examined through open-ended, semidirected interviews with a purposeful sample of eight professional men and women who have acquired identifiable, high-level professional knowledge/skills typically taught in postsecondary learning institutions without ever having enrolled in postsecondary programs in their field. The informants were recognized professionals in the following fields: computer analysis, structural engineering, media technology, accounting, training, journalism, computer research systems, and management/new media. An analysis of the informants' comments revealed three main elements of the SDL process: (1) emergent goal structure (a fairly clear set of professional objectives from the outset); (2) unusual learning strategies (including hiring consultants on a one-time-only basis, delegating research tasks to employees, validating new knowledge by discussing business with competitors, and modifying learning objectives to match available resources); and (3) "autodidactic leap" (learners took actions that literally forced them to learn on their own, often under considerable pressure). The interviews also established that successful SDL is determined by a combination of personality traits (including creativity, optimism, high capacity for learning, and curiosity) and environmental factors (including particularly stimulating episodes on the job and a boss's or colleague's suggestion that the informant assume new functions or responsibilities). (Contains 14 references) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Context Effect, Educational Environment, Educational Research, Independent Study, Influences, Interaction, Learning Processes, Learning Strategies, Literature Reviews, Models, Outcomes of Education, Performance Factors, Personality Traits, Professional Development, Professional Occupations, Student Educational Objectives, Success
Paul Bouchard, GIRAT, Department of Education, Rm. S-LB 579, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8 ($2).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A