Toward learner empowerment and adult self-directed learning in distance education

Hogan-Royle, Therese (1997) Toward learner empowerment and adult self-directed learning in distance education. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This research in the field of adult education is intended to expand understanding of the complexity of the relationships between the constructs of adult distance education, student empowerment and self-directed learning. – I hold these assumptions: empowerment or, in Starhawk’s (1987) words, expansion of unfolding of the adult learner’s innate capabilities or powers-from-within, promotes self-directed learning. By comparison, lack of student power or student disempowerment is a critical factor which contributes to low levels of self-directed learning and high levels of dissatisfaction and attrition. These conditions are not uncommon to the adult distance education. – I implemented an intervention model, to include what I consider essential to empowerment, namely the components of critical reflection and rational discourse. The model is inte3nded to facilitate the development of the adult learner’s power-from-within. From this research, I have found that this empowering model, and specifically the components of critical reflection, and rational discourse within a supportive, group, to be extremely effective in nurturing the power that resides within the student. An empowered student, I propose, is able to direct his or her own learning. – I hope to contribute to the conceptual base laid down concerning the interdependency between student empowerment and adult self-directed education. The theory and model can be applied, not only in an adult graduate education setting, but in other educational settings, in order to achieve a more emancipatory and democratic interaction

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10670
Item ID: 10670
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 90-96.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Adult learning; Distance education.

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