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EPALE - Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


Characteristics of the Student of Self-Directed Learning in the Context of Lifelong Learning

Language: EN
Document available also in: LT

Posted by Jurgita MELAIKIENE

What personal features and abilities can describe the student who is studying in a self-directed learning way? What competences have to be mastered by the student who is learning in a self-directed learning way? Why self-directed learning is so important in the context of lifelong learning? The answers to these and other questions are looking for in this article. The aim of the article is to identify characteristics of the self-directed learning student in the context of lifelong learning according to the performed scientific providences.

According the author, the need of self-directed learning when the learner takes decisions what and how to learn is highlighted in learning paradigm which is based on the understanding that learning is constructive action of the person, where the learning conditions and academic support are ensured that the main learning tasks should be done. (Čiužas, Šiaučiukėnienė, 2007).

Self-directed learning  is associated with the learner who is able according his/her attitudes, enthusiasm and harmony of actions to connect the life and learning and is able to be responsible for the quality of his/her own learning and experience. (Gray, 2004).

There are some dimensions of self-directed learning: learning aim, learning content, learning structure (consistency), learning duration, learning time, learning partners, learning TECHNIQUES, learning strategies, learning materials, learning resources, learning forms, learning methods, learning institutions, learning environment. Learning media and etc.  (Behrmann, Schwarz, 2003). Dietrich (2001) agree with this and confirm that high level of self-directed learning is only then when the learner himself/herself raises the learning aim, decide the learning content, learning aids (methods, media, social forms), place, time and duration and when he/she control the learning results.

According to the performed scientific providences the conclusion is done that self-directed learning may be performed only in particular conditions and one of the main conditions - self-directed learner has to characterize in some corresponding characteristics. It means that if the learner would like to fulfill his/her role in lifelong learning context qualitatively he/she should have the features which could be linked with the quality of personality which consists of personal features, skills, abilities and competencies.

 After performed theoretical providences, it has been determined that the main features which is appropriate to the self-directed learning student - requirement to be an independent person, ability to relate his or her learning process to the personal life and take responsibility for his or her learning quality and experience. Moreover, the self-directed learning student has to master competences of meta-learning (learning to learn), management and communicative.

Resource Author(s): 
Saulius Vaivada
ISSN 1822-3648
Publication Date:
Monday, 8 October, 2012
Language of the document:
Type of resource: 
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