The Benefits of Self Directed Learning

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Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner state that “Self-directed learning as a process of learning, in which people take the primary initiative for planning, carrying out, and evaluating their own learning experiences, has received a great deal of attention in literature” (2007, p.110). Being self-directed in learning is a part of our adult life. Self-directed learning is a learner-centered approach to involve students in the learning process. The article that I chose is “Using Study Plans to Develop Self-Directed Learning Skills: Implications From a Pilot Project” by Fengning Du. This article discusses a pilot project using a study plan as a vehicle to promote self-directing learning in a teacher dominant language program (Du, 2012, p.223). This article uses data sources and student feedback to study the implications on future research and practices.

Fengning Du is an Associate Professor at the Defense Language Institute. Du earned an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia in 2005. Du looks to effective student learning strategies, teacher professional development models and work team dynamics to conduct his research projects. Du’s work has appeared in the Journal of Educational Administration, the Teacher Educator and the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (Du, 2013).

Review of the Literature

Self-directed learning is primarily used in postsecondary and adult education programs. To be successful in the self-directing process a student should possess skills, competencies and maturity to be successful. Du states six competencies as essential in the process: 1) assessment of learning gaps, 2) evaluation of self and others, 3) reflection, 4) information management, 5) critical thinking, an...

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...ogram supported Knowles six assumptions in learning. The one thing we are all assured of change is imminent and difficult. The changes in the way teachers teach is catching up to the way adults are ready to learn.

Works Cited

Du, Fengning (2013) “Student perspective of Self-directed Language Learning: Implications

For Teaching and Research,” International Journal for the Scholarship of teaching and

Learning: Vol.7: No. 2, Article 24.

Retrieved from

Du, F. (2012). Using Study Plans To Develop Self-Directed Learning Skills: Implications From

A Pilot Project. College Student Journal, 46(1), 223-232. Retrieved from Kaplan Library

Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2006). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive

guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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