Self-Directed Learning

  • Stephen D. Brookfield

Self-directed learning is learning in which the conceptualization, design, conduct and evaluation of a learning project are directed by the learner. This does not mean that self-directed learning is highly individualized learning always conducted in isolation. Learners can work in self-directed ways while engaged in group-learning settings, provided that this is a choice they have made believing it to be conducive to their learning efforts. Self-directed learners are not to be thought of as Robinson Crusoes working without human contact. Indeed, a recurring theme of research in this area is the way learners move in and out of learning networks and consult a range of peers. The key point is that whether or not learners choose to be temporarily isolated from, or immersed within, peer networks is the learner’s decision.


Adult Education Adult Learning Learning Effort Learning Project Adult Learning Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen D. Brookfield
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of St. Thomas, St.,PaulUnited States of America

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