Recognizing the expertise of the uncertified self-directed learner

Walsh, Maureen (2000) Recognizing the expertise of the uncertified self-directed learner. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study comprises a phenomenological analysis of self-described personal experiences of learning undertaken outside the structure of formal schooling. The purpose of this research is to increase understanding of the contributions of self-directed informal initiatives in learning toward educational and community capacity building. This study adds to Merriam and Caffarella's (1991) and Candy's (1991) analysis of self-directed learning concepts by researching within the lived context of the learner and giving precedence to the learner's experience over teaching models and principles. -- In-depth, phenomenological interviews were conducted with six men and two women, ranging in age from 45 to 90, living on the south coast of Newfoundland. Access to the participants was achieved through network or snowball sampling, based on the question, "Do you know anybody who taught themselves "from scratch?" The findings, written in narrative form, provide rich description concerning participants' learning experiences. The analysis indicates that self-directed, uncertified learners have certain characteristics i.e., ability/willingness to set goals, positive attitude, internal locus of control, an appreciation of the value of work and a willingness to take risks. Particular learning strategies employed include trial and error, networking, observation, mentally preparing for work, organized thinking, trusting and using instinct and positive self-affirmation. Learners believe in themselves, are satisfied with life overall, remember significant mentors, are curious, use positive self-talk and take on challenges readily, all within a social context of life and learning in small, rural communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9630
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 136-141.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Self-culture--Newfoundland and Labrador

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