Why self-learning?

Why self-learning?

Whenever we think of learning, we associate it with a classroom and a teacher at the head of the class, in what has often been called ‘the sage on the stage’ model. The ‘lecture’ which may of about 40 minutes at School, about an hour at University and sometimes of almost 90 minutes in professional courses is the primary activity. There maybe supplementary laboratory, tutorials, seminars, projects or study visits, but the ‘lecture’ is the primary mode. There are enough research studies alluding to the ineffectiveness and limitations of such lectures, and in particular that most learners “zone out” after the first 10 minutes of the lecture. Active learner engagement fares better in learning effectiveness, because learning is not a spectator sport.

Self-learning, described by Malcolm Knowles as a process in which individuals take the initiative without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating goals, identifying human and material resources, and evaluating learning outcomes”. 

The way children learn is called pedagogy, the learning process for adults is called Andragogy and the learning approach of the self-directed learner is called Heutagogy. Heutagogy is the study of self-determined learning …

The world of self-learning can be a little daunting. However, if we want to achieve our aspirations and stay relevant in an ever-changing world, self-learning is critical to us in the 21st Century.

The New Education Policy 2020 gives a big push to the practice  of Heutagogy and encouraging learners to become self-directed learners. 

The NEP 2020 at para 4.6 says: The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn – and away from the culture of rote learning as is present today. The goal will be to create holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st-century skills. All aspects of curriculum and pedagogy will be reoriented and revamped to attain these critical goals.

It is not only the ineffectiveness of lectures, it seems that even the attempt to teach is a futile endeavour. The famous historian Edward Gibbons had said “But the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.”I am not a historian and had seen this quoted by Richard Feynman in his famous “ Lectures in Physics”. The famous poet and Professor Robert Frost had said “I am not an educator….I am an awakener”. We need to re-awaken the inherent desire to learn that traditional education stifles.

Edward T Hall, the anthropologist said “The drive to learn is as strong than the sexual drive. It begins earlier and lasts longer”. Again I am not an anthropologist and this is quoted in “ Schools that learn” by Peter Senge. 

Here is a very good article on the importance of self-directed learning : https://link.medium.com/fUmzYZHJN9

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
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