Promoting Self-Directed Learning in Graduate Students

Report
PROMOTING SELF-DIRECTED
LEARNING IN GRADUATE
STUDENTS
Lisa Thomson
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
INTRODUCTIONS

Who Am I?

Practitioner
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Doctoral Student
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UNC Charlotte – Belk College of Business
North Carolina State University
Who is in the Audience?
Name
 Institution
 Work with graduate students?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Define self-directed learning
 How it relates to graduate students
 Apply concepts to practice

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING
Linked to Malcolm Knowles’ (1970) term of
andragogy
 Tough (1979) – distinct field of study
 Focused on adult students & adult learning
 Recent research

Self-regulation
 Workforce development focus

KEY CONCEPTS

Control of Learning
Student versus Teacher
 Novice versus Subject Matter Expert

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Role of Learner
Learner knows own needs
 Personalized learning experience
 Reflective practice/self-evaluation


Role of context
Social environment
 Supportive structure

RELATIONSHIP TO GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate Student Experience
Specialized learning
 Individual motivation for education
 Facilitating learning in the classroom
 Goal setting and attainment


Faculty Involvement
Mentoring
 Individualized planning

SCENARIOS – THEORY TO PRACTICE
Career Counseling – job search
 Student Activities – event planning
 Classroom Teaching – syllabus/assignments


What examples do you have from your
institutions?
FINAL THOUGHTS
Promote reflective practice
 Offer experiential learning
 Incorporate learning contracts
 Provide support
 Serve as facilitators
 Increase meaningfulness of learning

REFERENCES
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Brockett, R. G., & Hiemstra, R. (1991). Self-direction in adult
learning: Perspectives on theory, research, and practice. London and
New York: Routledge.
Elias, J. L., & Merriam, S. B. (2005). Philosophical foundations of
adult education (3rd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company.
Garrison, D. R. (1997). Self-directed learning: Toward a
comprehensive model. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(1), 18-33.
Knowles, M. S. (1970). Self-directed learning. New York, NY:
Association Press.
Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. G. (2007). The profession and practice
of adult education: An introduction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey –Bass.
Tough, A. (1979). The adult’s learning projects: A fresh approach to
theory and practice in adult learning (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Learning
Concepts.
Weidman, J. C., Twale, D. J., & Stein, E. L. (2001). Socialization of
graduate and professional students in higher education: A perilous
passage? In A. J. Kezar (ed.).ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report,
28(3). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Zimmerman, B. J. (1990). Self-regulated learning and academic
achievement: An overview. Educational Psychologist, 25(1), 3-17.
THANK YOU!
For Questions & Comments:
Lisa Thomson
[email protected]

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