Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

5 Hypotheses About Learning That Suggest Self-Directed Learning

By  Terry Heick, : Five Hypotheses About Learning That Suggest Self-Directed Learning

self-directed learning

In our continuing reading and research on learning–whether we’re looking at project-based learning, problem-based learning, blended learning, or any number of other approaches–we often bump into the idea of self-directed learning.

This is not a coincidence, we believe, as even Dewey promoted the concept of a self-directed and self-sufficient learner. At some point, though, we have gotten away from that idea–calling for self-direction by learners, but only to better function in an otherwise teacher-directed environment.

In contrast to pedagogy, which focuses on the efficient delivery of instruction and content, heutagogy focuses instead on the process of learning itself–how to learn rather than what to learn. In the same link, you’ll see 5 hypotheses from Carl Rogers (1951) about learning that collectively promote the concept of self-directed learning–even in a typical K-20 formal learning environment.

Five Hypotheses About Learning That Suggest Self-Directed Learning

  1. “We cannot teach another person directly: we can only facilitate learning
  2. People learn significantly only those things that they perceive as being involved in the maintenance or enhancement of the structure of self
  3. Experience which if assimilated would involve a change in the organisation of self tends to be resisted through denial or distortion of symbolisation, and the structure and organisation of self appear to become more rigid under threat
  4. Experience which is perceived as inconsistent with the self can only be assimilated if the current organisation of self is relaxed and expanded to include it
  5. The educational system which most effectively promotes significant learning is one in which threat to the self, as learner, is reduced to a minimum.”

Image attribution flickr user woodleywonderworks

Tagged as: ,

3 Responses »


  1. 5 Hypotheses About Learning That Suggest Self-D...

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
%d bloggers like this: