Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 6 June 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education

Rajesh Bojan, M.A., M.Phil.


If there is any difficulty or dilemma in choosing a right path, the teacher is there to support and guide. The teacher could show you, make you understand which is right and suitable for you and it is your duty to begin the journey from which point you become the authority of every step of yours. Instead, if you wish your teacher to hold your hands and walk along, I am afraid there is no justice preserved. It is to say, as a learner you have misunderstood what real learning is and your master has misapprehended what true teaching is. Neither of you have discovered anything at all.

It is primarily the aim of this paper to examine the necessity for self-directed learning in higher educational context especially in India. Additionally, it will also present some useful suggestions on how to facilitate the self-directed learning strategy in our day-to-day teaching.


Learning could be extremely rewarding if observation is attentive and properly utilized. There are many who possess multi-disciplinary knowledge and talents. Such individuals have qualified themselves for such merits by years of self-education and immeasurable practice.

What is to be learnt is first of all observed well. The nuances and dimensions are comprehended one after another and digested. Initially, the ability to imitate produces a great effect in the process of building our learning. Thus, after sufficient practice the potential to produce a product of originality is attained. For instance, no bird is ever taught to fly, it is by observation the young ones make their progression. It is the same observational skill that makes the cubs to develop the strategy required to catch a prey. We would never have got Shakespeare if he had not closely observed the stage of his day or if he had considered himself ineligible due to the lack of formal education.

Self-directed Learning

It is the capacity to be self-directed that makes one qualified to be successful in any individual's attempts. In such an autodidactic learning structure, observation is just one of the components. Self-directed learning or autodidactism has been a popular area of study for several years. According to Malcolm Knowles, Self-directed learning is a process in which:

individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1990).

Need for Self-Directed Learning in India

Most of the learning condition in India, whether it be elementary, high school or college level, is neither effective nor educative. This is especially true in terms of analysing the learners knowledge and competence in English. It has become very usual to see so many individuals with postgraduate and even research degrees unable to produce a grammatically right sentence of their own in English. The main cause for it in my point of view is the lack of quality in the educational system that we follow. Moreover, the condition is such that anyone with an eligible degree could step into the teaching profession whether he is qualified to it or not. For a mere reason of securing employment many enter into the teaching field and most of them have no passion for teaching. It is not my purpose to complain, but it is simply unavoidable to question the educational standards for the benefit of the learners.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Patterns of Indian Multilingualism | The Use of Catchy Words: A Case Study from Pakistan | Conquering Psychological Alienation - How Amy Tan Looks at It | I`gbo` Verbs of Communication | Honorifics and Speech Levels in Meiteiron | Social Functions of Metaphor - A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples | Pragmatic Approaches and Models of Linguistic Politeness | Emerging Paradigms in Language Communication in India and Their Impact on the Corporate Competencies | Role of Encoding Temporal Fine Structure Cues in Time Compressed Word Recognition | Negotiating Boundaries: Arab-American Poetry and the Dilemmas of Dual Identity | The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education | Attitudes toward Women Expressed in the Speech of Male College Students | Teachers' Professional Development in ELT at Tertiary Level: ELTR Project of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan - A Case Study | The Changing Image of Women in Indian Writing in English - A Study of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things | The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress: Native Education | Teaching English Language and Literature in Non-Native Context | Improving Chemmozhi Learning and Teaching - Descriptive Studies in Classical-Modern Tamil Grammar | Global Perspective of Teaching English Literature in Higher Education in Pakistan | Two Trends That Would Deface Classical-Modern Tamil - How to Reverse These Trends? | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JUNE 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of June 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Rajesh Bojan, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of English
Anna University
Coimbatore - 641 047
Tamilnadu, India

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