With the continuous fast pace of the dynamic world, the need for ever-changing and evolving techniques required for all-around growth is crucial. And to build this existing world a better place everyone holds education and learning process among youths greatly responsible. To keep the learning process more and more effective, various tools and tactics are brought in regularly. With facilities of online resources and classes, it has become easier for students to access and assess their own capabilities in education. This has led students to incline their choice of learning towards self-direction and this preference has seen high projection in the past few years. This self-directed learning is seen as a growing necessity for recent times too.
There has been an ever growing debate on the importance of appreciating the uniqueness of the individual students and how the education system does not give a platform for the same. Self Directed Learning (SDL) comes up as a plausible solution. In this technique of education, students take initiative for their own learning by finding their own capacities and interests. On the basis of this analysis, one can decide, access and manage the learning activities required for him. The concept of self-directed learning refers to the monitoring of one’s own education by recognizing his learning needs, life goals and finding the desired resources for the same. The independence provided in this kind of learning environment helps students to make their own education worthwhile.
This approach of learning is a result of the mass curiosity among students and the emergence of technology in education. SDL helps students to retain the kind of information they think is important and relevant to them. Students are in more control of the knowledge they acquire and they are able to manage the pace of their lesson at their own pace. This is vital because every student has his own competency of learning. They can learn without the fear of being left behind in the class, at their own rate. And moreover, when the interaction between teacher and students happens more instead of teacher centred learning, students become more collaborative. They communicate more which increases confidence. The independent nature of this learning affects the students for the long term. Students learn to become independent and decision-making quality is imbibed.
When the subject of learning is interesting to the student, he naturally becomes more productive in the same. Therefore when students plan their own lessons and manage them according to their capacities, they retain more knowledge more adequately. And through SDL, students come across resources which are new and suited, making their learning creditable. Learning for learning sake and learning for enjoyment produce two different experience and result.
But new approaches bring along some challenges with it too. For SDL, access to technology is very important. The larger part of the learning process and resources depend on technology. If a student does not have technologies and/or online services, he may face a problem. And there are students who are not capable of taking such responsibilities. They can’t handle the decision-making process that they have to go through for themselves. And students are initially largely ignorant about what is beneficial for them in their learning process. Therefore in the initial stages teachers’ guidance is extremely important for the students. They need help identifying their assets and need to be informed on the ways they can proceed in their self-directed learning.
In the age of technology, Self Directed Learning can overcome linear ways of education and can free unique potential in every student. This way, education will be one step closer to achieve its true end goal.