Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Academic Writing (Session 1 of 3): Interesting Insights into Educational Methods (From Andragogy to Heutagogy)

Today I attended the Academic Writing class facilitated by Dato' Dr. Anthony E. Sibert. There will be two more sessions in the coming weeks and I'm looking forward to them. Besides the obvious topic on writing assignments, Dr. Sibert also touches on the educational methods and learning.

In the session, I learned something new about educational methods namely pedagogy (I'm familiar with this), andragogy (the term is new to me!), and heutagogy (new to me!). Heutagogy jumps out to me because it is a form of self-determined learning with practices and principles rooted in andragogy. I'm a big fan of self-directed learning, so when Dr. Sibert elaborated on heutagogy, I was elated because heutagogy takes learning to a new level. But first, since this is my first time exposed to the term andragogy, I'd like to take a brief moment now to examine it before I sing the heutagogy song. Although the word itself is new to me, the concept isn't because I've always adopted the approach to my personal learning and development.

Andragogy (self-directed learning) was defined by Knowles in the 1970's as specific to adult education and characterized by learner control and self-responsibility in learning, learner definition of learning objectives in relation to their relevance to the learner, a problem-solving approach to learning, self-directedness in how to learn, intrinsic learner motivation, and incorporation of the learner experience. Sounds great? Wait until you hear about heutagogy.

Heutagogy (self-determined learning) applies a holistic approach to developing learner capabilities, with learning as an active and proactive process, and learners serving as “the major agent in their own learning, which occurs as a result of personal experiences” (Hase & Kenyon, 2007, p. 112). This sounds just like the approach I've been using all this while for my self-development such as learning Italian and other foreign languages, photography, and even for work. My pursuing of this MBA also fits in nicely in my grand plan. I'm definitely looking forward to incorporating my personal experiences into the MBA studies!

I'm talking from a learner's perspective but if you are also interested in the role of the educator, you can read more about these educational methods from the IRRODL (International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning) website. It's the same website where I obtained the above definitions, recapping what I heard from today's class and also as a part of my own further reading. The Southern Cross University offers good information too (read this).

Finally, a "CAN DO" attitude is very important! (I'm happy to note that once again I hit the jackpot on this one...)


P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!