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Role of Autonomy and Philosophy in Educational Contexts

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As the terms “Pedagogy” and “Methodology” came to be popular in Language Teaching contexts, people have started looking for an effective way to share knowledge and standardize it. However, most of the teaching methods have been proven to be ineffective, for they always seen to neglect an instruction or skill that the learner should acquire. In response to the forementioned type of teaching methods; in addition to the need of immigrants in Europe to learn a language by themselves, authors like Benson, Crabbe, Boud and Littlewood, have advocated for a proposal called “Autonomous Learning”. This proposal seems to advocate for the empowering of learners, making them responsible for decisions regarding their own learning process, which seems to be a plausible solution to tackle each and every one of the difficulties a language learner might encounter. Nonetheless, as promising as it might sound, this proposal lacks of firm psychological basis, or clear data regarding its effectiveness. In fact, authors like Benson have recently stated that questions regarding this proposal can be addressed on philosophical grounds. The questions are whether language teaching or any kind of teaching can be dealt with on philosophical grounds; and whether autonomy is something that can be taught, especially in educational contexts.
Autonomous Learning is a theory based on the principles that: Teachers have the responsibility to foster personal autonomy; and that learners should be free to control their own learning. Benson(2012) argues that although the potential for autonomy may be intrinsic to the human condition, autonomy itself is something that must be acquired and maintained over the course of a lifetime. The last statement is not to be entirely an...

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... teacher who might be willing to advocate for it, and the ambiguous consequences that it has on students. This proposal seems to be more of an ideal than a pedagogy, but this proposal and its applicability or standardization will remain in a platonic plane as long as it be merely supported by arguments that rely on philosophical grounds.

Works Cited

Benson,P. (2012) Autonomy in Language Learning, Learning in Life. In Synergies France #9-2012 pp. 29-39
Crabbe. D.(1993) “Fostering Autonomy from Within the Classroom: The Teacher’s Responsibility System.” In Benson,P. (2012) Autonomy in Language Learning, Learning in Life. In Synergies France #9-2012 pp. 29-39
Macaro. E.(2008). Learning Strategies in Foreign and Second Language Classrooms. London: Continuum In Benson,P. (2012) Autonomy in Language Learning, Learning in Life. In Synergies France #9-2012 pp. 29-39