3 Key Elements of Self-Directed Learning

May 23, 2013

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Collaborating for Learning Conference (May 15 & 16, 2013) at the University of Calgary.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Poole, from the University of British Columbia, gave a talk on a self-directed learning program at UBC.

Dr. Poole highlighted three key elements of self-directed learning that differentiate it from traditional learning:

  1. The learner identifies the goals of their project and their learning process.
  2. The learner designs the means for attaining those goals.
  3. The learner defines the criteria to determine if the goals were met.

In order for learning to be truly self-directed, teachers and advisors must surrender the need to control the learning process, program design and even the assessment. Faculty and program coordinators become guides, helping students find their way if they get lost, helping them to cultivate self-managment and self-monitoring skills and — at all costs — resisting the urge to prescribe how learning should happen.

Self-directed learning teaches students to take control of their own path and then take full responsiblity for their own success or failure, being reflective and aware every step of the way.

_______________________

If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Share or Tweet this: 3 Key Elements of Self-Directed Learning http://wp.me/pNAh3-1BO

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


How will Alberta’s second language students ever achieve proficiency?

March 11, 2013

SLIC logoLate last year I had an article published in the peer-reviewed journal, Notos, which is published by the Second Language and Intercultural Council (SLIC) of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. With permission of the publisher, I am sharing the abstract and article with you:

Abstract

Students of second and international languages in Alberta do not receive sufficient hours of instruction through formal classroom time alone to achieve distinguished levels of proficiency (Archibald, J., Roy, S., Harmel, S., Jesney, K., Dewey, E., Moisik, S., et al., 2006). This research study uses a constructivist approach (Guba & Lincoln, 1994; Twomey Fosnot, 2005) to explore what is meant by proficiency and expertise in terms of language learning, by applying what has commonly become known as “the 10,000-hour rule” of expertise (Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R., & Tesch-Romer, C.,1993; Ericsson, K. A., Prietula, M. J., & Cokely, E. T., 2007; Gladwell, 2008).

Alberta’s French as a second language: Nine-year program of studies (Grade 4 to 12) is considered as an example. This paper argues that dedicated, self-regulated informal learning is necessary to supplement classroom learning in order to achieve 10,000 hours of dedicated practice necessary to develop high levels of proficiency or expertise, according to the definitions offered by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Recommendations are offered to help learners and parents understand critical role of self-regulated, informal learning in achieving language proficiency.

Keywords

second language, international languages, Canada, Alberta, 10,000-hour rule, expertise, proficiency, ACTFL, Common European Framework of Reference, CEFR, expert, self-regulation, formal learning, non-formal learning, informal learning.

Citation

Eaton, S. E. (2012). How will Alberta’s second language students ever achieve proficiency? ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, the CEFR and the “10,000-hour rule” in relation to the Alberta K-12 language-learning context. Notos, 12(2), 2-12.

If you are interested in a copy of the full article, please contact me.

_________________

If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or leave a comment. Thanks!

Share or Tweet this: How will Alberta’s second language students ever achieve proficiency? http://wp.me/pNAh3-1zA

Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


%d bloggers like this: