Comparative Analysis Of Self-Directed Learning

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Self-Directed Learning: Experiences from the Developing Countries in Asia and Africa
Hari Prasad Nepal
School of Education, Kathmandu University hpnepal@kusoed.edu.np 7 November, 2015
Abstract
This article reports the comparative analysis of SDL (Self-Directed Learning) practices in developing countries particularly in Asia and Africa. Study is basically grounded on the theories of SDL followed by brief history and concurrent practices. The study is based on the literature review of the four countries (Thailand, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe) contexts and their experiences of SDL within formal education structure. Findings have revealed that SDL is necessary and natural process for twenty first century learning skills. SDL can be
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The field of adult learning was growing at that time and the SDL is the core way of teaching and learning. In 1920s adult education was recognized as a field of study and practice. Before this time, the adult learning were seen as same as children way of learning. The researchers and practitioners felt a need to differentiate the ways children and adults learnt. This quest for differentiation thus gave rise to the development of two theories andragogy and SDL. Theories of adult learning as a distinctive field has been widely developed in Europe to identify educational needs for adults. Malcolm Knowles (1980) popularised the term andragogy in the United States in the 1960s. There is a general contestation that the learner is accountable for his or her learning in adult learning. Is andragogy and SDL is truly unique to the adult learners? Where Hanson (1996) argued that the characteristics of an adult learner were also found amongst children. Like adults, children could possess intrinsic motivation to learn. If the problem was of interest to the child, he or she would make attempts to address the need for knowledge in order to solve the problem. In fact, in certain situations, children’s experiences were richer than adults and these experiences provided the relevant foundation to their learning (Hanson, 1996). This then alerts us to the fact that learning should not only focus on the maturity of the…show more content…
For example, self-study played an important part in the lives of such Greek philosophers as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Other historical examples of self-directed learners included Alexander the Great, Caesar, Erasmus, and Descartes. Social conditions in Colonial America and a corresponding lack of formal educational institutions necessitated that many people learn on their own. Early scholarly efforts to understand self-directed learning took place some 150 years ago in the United States. Craik (1840) documented and celebrated the self-education efforts of several people. About this same time in Great Britain, Smiles (1859) published a book entitled Self-Help, that applauded the value of personal development. However, it is during the last three decades that self-directed learning has become a major research area. Groundwork was laid through the observations of Houle (1961) (University of Chicago, Illinois). He interviewed 22 adult learners and classified them into three categories based on reasons for participation in learning: (a) goal-oriented, who participate mainly to achieve some end goal; (b) activity-oriented, who participate for social or fellowship reasons;

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