Friday, June 23, 2006

Linking thinking: Self-directed learning in the digital age

At more than 350 pages, Linking Thinking: Self-directed learning in the digital age (pdf) is a full online book -- even just the executive summary is a significant read. The Australian focus isn't so localized as to be intrusive. This is an impressive overview of current trends in self-directed learning by Philip C. Candy from 2004. I appreciated his distinction between self-direction and learner control:
"At the beginning of this chapter I alluded to the fact that there is a large body of literature pertaining to the phenomenon of online learning. Of that literature, the greater proportion focuses on learning in the context of being taught, although there are many references to concepts such as independent, self-paced, self-directed, autonomous or otherwise learner-managed learning. On closer examination, however, the majority of this literature actually turns out to refer to a severely circumscribed kind of independence, in which the learner is ‘permitted’ to take control over a relatively narrow range of choices."

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