Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Self Directed Learning

Self-Directed Learning

The term Self-Directed Learning requires that students take the responsibility for
their own learning process, including acquiring the material and monitoring their
own progress.

This method of instruction originally begun in the education of adults and has
only recently begun to be used in elementary and secondary schools.
Key Findings….

Assessing whether a student is ready for self-directed learning is important.
Teachers should be provided with training on self-directed learning.
Teachers should teach students a variety of learning strategies and ensure they
can properly use them.

Teachers should teach students the value of revision and critical appraisal in
their work.

Teachers should encourage independence and a positive attitude toward

Teachers should investigate learners’ needs and interests and how to support

A tutorial and formal inquiry process should occur to allow students to discuss
and make connections in their material.

Control of the learning process should shift from teacher to student as the
student gains more experience with the concepts of self-directed learning so that
eventually students decide what they should learn and how to learn the material.

Gifted and talented students have educational needs for daily challenge,
opportunities for uniqueness and independent work, subject or grade based
acceleration, opportunities to learn and socialize with other gifted and talented
students and a differentiation in instructional methods such as pace, review etc.

Being a self-directed learner teaches a student to be motivated, self-disciplined
and persistent. Students also develop a confidence in their own abilities and
become more goal-oriented while enjoying their learning.

Self-directed learning is a collaborative process, the student must have
the initiative to learn the material and the teacher must provide
support and resources for learning.

Students should never feel as if they are learning on their own.
Teachers should make students aware of their role in their own learning
and encourage each student to take initiative in their learning.
Teachers must support students in their learning process by providing
opportunities for help and discussion so students don’t feel like they are
working on their own.

I was watching a documentary a few weeks ago named “History of the World in Two Hours”. It was extremely fascinating and revolutionary in my eyes. One of the topics discussed was how man in his earliest form, had the mind capacity to form or shape rocks into objects which in essence, shaped human history. The emphasis on self-directed learning was on verifying that adults deliberately learn on their own. Tough (1971) found that “highly deliberate efforts to learn take place all around us” (p. 106) and in most cases without us even knowing. Furthermore, both Knowles and Tough agree that “adult learners become increasingly self-directed as they mature and strive toward greater self-direction” (p.106).

The documentary “History of the World in Two Hours” discussed language and how revolutionary it was to be able to communicate with others. It emphasized human’s maturation process and how far we have advanced from forming rocks into tools to making machines that makes tools our ancestors would have marveled over. The documentary, in my opinion, proves to me that Tough’s and Knowles assumptions are correct. Our ancestors proved this by intuitively using rocks to advance the human race. They used the resources they had in order to survive which in turn has propelled our society into a technological world. However communication with others was imperative to our advancement. Our ancestors needed to communicate effectively with fellow tribesmen or their family for survival. Furthermore, they needed to pass down this information from generation to generation. In essence, our first ancestors were great instructors because they enhanced the ability of both children and adults to be self-directed.

In Conclusion, the job of educators of adults is to help learners to be able to plan, carry out, and evaluate their own learning as our ancestors did. Additionally, educators need to be able to consciously enhance adults learners critical thinking, skills, and knowledge and view themselves as being capable of being and doing anything they put their minds too. However, in order to do this, educators need to shift as much control as possible to the learner while in the learning process with the understanding that support and guidance may be required. For example, educators might provide assistance to learners as in locating resources or mastering alternative learning strategies, i.e... how to take notes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teacher Centered Vs. Learner Centered

In teacher-centered education, students put all of their focus on the teacher. The teacher talks, while the students exclusively listen. During activities, students work alone, and collaboration is discouraged.


  • When education is teacher-centered, the classroom remains orderly. Students are quiet, and the teacher retains full control of the classroom and its activities.
  • Because students learn on their own, they learn to be independent and make their own decisions.
  • Because the teacher directs all classroom activities, they don’t have to worry that students will miss an important topic.


  • When students work alone, they don’t learn to collaborate with other students, and communication skills may suffer.
  • Teacher-centered instruction can get boring for students. Their minds may wander, and they may miss important facts.
  • Teacher-centered instruction doesn’t allow students to express themselves, ask questions and direct their own learning.

Learner-Centered teaching means the student is at the center of learning.  The student assumes the responsibility for learning while the instructor is responsible for facilitating the learning.  Thus, the power in the classroom shifts to the student.  The sites below will help you in learning how to become more learner-centered in your teaching.


  • Students learn important communicative and collaborative skills through group work.
  • Students learn to direct their own learning, ask questions and complete tasks independently.
  • Students are more interested in learning activities when they can interact with one another and participate actively.


  • Because students are talking, classrooms are often busy, noisy and chaotic.
  • Teachers must attempt to manage all students’ activities at once, which can be difficult when students are working on different stages of the same project.
  • Because the teacher doesn’t deliver instruction to all students at once, some students may miss important facts.
  • Some students prefer to work alone, so group work can become problematic.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Short Story: Today a young lady wanted to talk to me about dropping a class. During the conversation, she tells me that her professor would not let her make-up a quiz she missed even though she had proof she was hospitalized on that day. In my opinion, this professor is example of what educators should not be, unempathetic, not knowing the students circumstances or even asking if she was o.k. In fact, this professor should be given a warning or even disciplined for the action. Maybe he/she needs professional development and learn andragogical theories. Maybe he/she should check my blog for tips on how to be a learner-centered professor.........

Many of our students have personal issues. We never know what is happening in someones life just by looking at them. Empathy goes a long way no matter what the rules may say. As we all know, rules are meant to be broken. This is a perfect example of empathy for a student.

Image result for sydney engelberg

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tips for Teachers

Hi yall,

My name is Anthony and i would like to share some knowledge for both new and seasoned college instructors.

First, I would like to ask you some questions.
      1. Does your institution provide training or professional development for new and current              faculty?

       2.Do you have an understanding of pedagogical or andragogical principles?

Did you know that new professors of higher educational institutions often begin teaching based on their experiences as students in the colleges or universities they attended. Many have never taken a course or studied theories involving pedagogy or andragogy, thus relegating numbers of students under their tutelage to long lectures, unrelated assignments, and boring classes (Ellis, Kupczynski, Mundy, & Salgafdo). Many teachers initial teaching model is born from that of their own teachers consisting of teacher-centered strategies in a traditional, on site environment. They teach as they were taught (Gallant, 2000; Layne et al., 2004). They typically have no formal training for the teaching portion of their university responsibilities. In fact, most professors learn by observing other professors, in this way, the teaching environment will never change. Jaffee (2003) describes the traditional teaching and the learning environment as a “pedagogical ecology” in which the physical space and social roles have been institutionalized and the lecture continues to be a common teaching strategy.  The findings in the literature research suggest that one of the best ways to address the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students are to use andragogical practices in the classroom. The best way to promulgate these theories and to ensure ethics in teaching is to provide faculty with readily available, on-going professional development. In providing these best practices, it allows the scholar who teaches a subject to become a meaningful teacher of students, a true educator (Ellis et al). 

The andragogical approach requires a psychological climate of mutual respect, collaboration, trust support, openness, authenticity, pleasure, and humane treatment, and that is the role of the facilitator (teacher) to provide such an atmosphere. In a truly andragogical setting, teachers are not “on center stage” delivering instructions to waiting students.  Effective teachers are facilitators who assist students in their own self-directed learning. Teachers should possess diverse characteristics, such as being prepared, showing genuine concern for student success, using humor in the classroom, having to make the subject matter interesting, being objective in dealing with learners, and  possessing understanding, flexibility, patience and practicality.