Meeting educational challenges of pre- and post- COVID-19 conditions through self-directed learning: considering the contextual quality of educational experience necessary

Morris, T.H (2021) 'Meeting educational challenges of pre- and post- COVID-19 conditions through self-directed learning: considering the contextual quality of educational experience necessary.' On the Horizon. ISSN 1074-8121

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-01-2021-0031

Abstract

Purpose: Fostering the skills necessary for self-directed learning competence could be considered the most essential goal of formal education, especially due to uncertainty and changing conditions – exampled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, self-directed learning competence can afford a person the ability to adapt to changing social contextual conditions: thus, facilitate personal growth and development – even in the face of volatile and rapidly changing social contextual conditions. Design/methodology/approach: To date research has failed to comprehensively identify exactly what type of educational experience is necessary for such an adaptive meaning-making process during self-directed learning. The present theoretical paper attempts to redress this concern. Findings: Highly contextualized educational experience is necessary to enable contextual-specific, adaptable, meaning-making. Two constituents of highly contextualized educational experience are proposed: (1) contextual-specific information available during the educational experience, and (2) contextual-specific meaning schemes resultant from the educational process. Originality/value: This novel work presents an important argument that education should encourage learners to construct knowledge that is adaptable and transferable to their context, rather than automatized knowledge that is not adaptable or transferable. This is a key concern for persons who face rapidly changing social contextual conditions and therefore should be given consideration in both the design of education and in further research on self-directed learning. Like a vaccine in an arm provides a certain protection against COVID-19, fostering our populations’ SDL competence is fundamental for affording persons with an ability to meet the demands of our rapidly changing world.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: self-directed learning (SDL), adaptivity, contextualized experience, teaching and learning, constructivism, experiential learning
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-01-2021-0031
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2021 15:23
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2021 17:01
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