Go to  Advanced Search

Reframing research into 'self-direction' in adult education : A constructivist perspective

Show full item record

Files in this item

Files Size Format Description   View
UBC_1987_A2 C36.pdf 22.66Mb Adobe Portable Document Format   View/Open
 
Title: Reframing research into 'self-direction' in adult education : A constructivist perspective
Author: Candy, Philip Carne
Degree Doctor of Education - EdD
Program Higher Education
Copyright Date: 1987
Subject Keywords Adult education
Abstract: Research into self-direction has been hampered by the absence of a consistent theoretical framework, and the indiscriminate application of the term 'self-direction' to different phenomena. The purposes of this study were: (a) to critically analyse the use of the term 'self-direction' in adult education and to ascertain whether there are differences among the phenomena subsumed under that label; (b) to critically survey the literature, and synthesise research findings; (c) to compare the significance of 'self-direction' in adult education with other sectors of education; (d) to identify and evaluate assumptions underlying past and present research traditions in 'self-direction'; and (e) to reconceptualise 'self-direction' from a constructivist perspective and to formulate themes for future research. It was shown that 'self-direction' has been used to refer to three different phenomena: (i) as a personal quality or attribute (personal autonomy); (ii) as the independent pursuit of learning outside formal instructional settings (autodidaxy); and (iii) as a way of organising instruction (learner-control). Two distinct approaches were used in undertaking the study. The first involved a critical analysis and review of literature in each of the three domains, the second was based on a form of conceptual analysis. Major paradigms in educational research were surveyed. It was asserted that assumptions underlying the interpretive paradigm were congruent with the phenomenon of self-direction and that, despite its limitations, there are advantages to adopting a constructivist perspective. Major findings were: (1) lack of internal consistency in the literature precludes the development of a coherent 'theory of self-direction' from within the literature; (2) autodidaxy can be usefully distinguished from learner-control; (3) autonomy in learning does not necessarily lead to personal autonomy, nor does personal autonomy always manifest itself in the learning situation; (4) autonomy has both personal and situational dimensions; (5) understanding the perspective of learners is vital to understanding strategies used and outcomes attained; (6) personal autonomy in learning comprises both cross-situational and situation-specific dimensions; (7) research into learning outcomes should stress qualitative rather than quantitative dimensions of knowledge acquisition; and (8) constructivism sanctions action-research and other naturalistic inquiry modes. The study incluuded an agenda for research into autodidaxy and learner-control from a constructivist perspective.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/27659
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

All items in cIRcle are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.

UBC Library
1961 East Mall
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604-822-6375
Fax: 604-822-3893