Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Developing Self-Directed Learners


Table 1: Research on Traits of Self-Directed Learners

Learner TraitsResearchClassroom Implications
Student MotivationAnderman, 2004; Guthrie, Alao, & Rinehart, 1997; Howse, Lange, Farran, & Boyles, 2003;
Lumsden, 1994, 1999
Challenging, but achievable, relevant assignments; conceptual theme instruction; choice in task/task accomplishment; mastery learning/outcome-based instruction; cooperative/collaborative learning; individual goal setting; accelerated learning; teacher modeling of positive behaviors; depth rather than breadth of topics.
Goal OrientationCaraway, Tucker, Reinke, & Hall, 2003; Nichols, Jones, & Hancock, 2003; Stefanou & Parkes, 2003Type of assessment influences motivation; learner emotions/teacher instructional strategies influence student goal orientation; a higher general level of confidence increases student engagement in curriculum.
Locus of ControlHarlen & Crick, 2003; Miller, Fitch, & Marshall, 2003Learning goals rather than performance goals; at-risk students have a higher external locus of control.
Self-EfficacyBouffard & Couture, 2003; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003; Thomas, 1993; Zimmerman, 2002Student demonstrates behavioral, cognitive, motivational engagement; teachers assist students to maintain self-efficacy beliefs; foster belief that competence/ability is changeable; motivational variables do not change much across subject matter; performance feedback improves independent learning.
Self-RegulationPalmer & Wehmeyer, 2003Students can develop self-regulation through problem-solving/goal-setting instructional activities.
MetacognitionBlakey & Spence, 1990; Ngeow & Kong, 2001Students should plan, monitor, and evaluate their thinking processes; students should engage in inquiry/problem-based learning that includes problem framing, data gathering, divergent thinking, idea generation, evaluating alternatives.

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