Are adults naturally self-directed learners? Part 2

Interesting and reflective thoughts by Ken. I used to think teaching and learning being two sides of the same coin (the Yin and Yang), with media and technology (or the coin as the tool) being periphery joining them together.

Yes in a socially-constructed Learning environment, most if not all are didactic in nature. The conversation, engagement, interaction, which may be part of the cooperation and collaboration embedded in a convoluted way (or rhizomatic manner, if we like to describe it organically).

If we are to describe learning and Learning in a way that may co-exist, then learning as a natural growth of networks in our brain, and that of the growth of the forests, plants, trees, grass etc. are natural parts of the ecology. On the other hand, the development of social media, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), road and transport system, buildings, logistics systems, organizations, education systems, groups and networks of people are all artificial parts of the ecology. So, you need both in order to develop the whole ecology, and what learning and Learning is situated might be viewed from a “microscopic” or “macroscopic” lens of learning, and interpreted accordingly.

I have also conceived that learning (individually) could be the most satisfying for human (as individuals), as that could be revealed from the reports of gurus, thinkers, philosophers, and scientists etc. Learning could however be the corner-stone for nurturing learning, and may lead to group collaborative performance and thus the basis of civilization and socialization and enculturation. Without self-motivation and direction in both learning and Learning, I reckon human’s creativity would be stalled, leading to stagnation in human progress.

So, I agree that learning happens elsewhere, especially if Learning is still under the thumb of teaching only. Is self-directed learning significant in learning and Learning? What and how would education be developed given that human are all natural learners?

We also need disruptive discovery to overcome the crisis and to develop a better future.

How about power of networks?  How would social networks influence self-directed learning?



8 thoughts on “Are adults naturally self-directed learners? Part 2

  1. I think that it is (E)ducators who have destroyed creativity. (E)ducators seek to own learning, and in their quest to do so, have subrogated Learning for learning. As you state, behaviour-control is at the heart of (E)ducation:

    >Learning could however be the corner-stone for nurturing learning, and may lead to group collaborative performance and thus the basis of civilization and socialization and enculturation.

    With a mind-set like that, crises naturally follow. learning does not need nuturing except when it is subrogated by Learning. That said, you are wise to seek remedies to the crisis of (E)ducation – unengaged students don’t learn their lessons well, no?

  2. Do you mean subjugated Learning for learning? That’s worthy of a deep reflection – to ask why that is the case. Would that be the result of power and governance structure that has evolved for centuries? See this Network Theory of Power . Under a traditional education system, behavior-control is at the heart of (E)ducation. Is it still relevant and practical in a contemporary Education?

  3. If people treat (E)ducation solely as a business (for profits), then there comes the problem as the current economic crisis deepened, so is (E)ducation, as many parties (including) stakeholders are running short of money (and at a loss). So, we seem to be at a cross road of opening up Education as an open and less expensive (or even free) business and commodity on one hand, but a tightening of budgets and an urge of better quality Education on a massive scale on the other hand, through the use of more technology, more online education and learning (in formal education). Would this attract the un-engaged or un-motivated students who don’t have the interest in “learning” in formal education? In most developing countries, Education is still run as a traditional didactic Learning model, and so quality (E)ducation is still dependent on the quality of teaching, in particular the skills and experience of the teachers. However, with the super-professor model, such (E)ducation model might be shifted towards the adoption of “flipping the class” model where students would be watching “short videos” in or outside classes (for online learning), whilst more practical activities such as discussion would be encouraged in class. As I have argued in my other posts, I hope this swinging of pendulum from teaching to learning and then back forth could be better understood in terms of learning, rather than a short term fix of the current (E)ducation crisis of lack of funds, or lack of “quality teachers”, or too big a class size.

    It is interesting to see that many issues emerged are due to the gradual taking over of “Learning” by learning as a result of disruptive technology. It is a changing landscape, and no one is able to see through the crystal ball what it takes to re-balance the Learning with learning, with “constructive” technology. How to remedy the situation?


  4. I meant subrogate, as in substitute.

    There is no remedy. Learning is what it is – a socially constructed environment in which behaviour-control and goal achievement is assumed. To pretend otherwise is folly, and deceptive.

  5. Assessment/grading/student ranking is highly regarded in the West too, I think. High marks are necessary for acceptance into good universities, and specific programs. In addition, tests such as LSAT, MCAT, GMAT etc. are widely required.

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