Becoming Self Directed Learners

For an individual to be successful there is a need to become a self-directed and a self-aware learner. Being one entails the person to exercise habits which can influence his success. These habits are the so-called Habits of the Mind, which are presented in this paper, are most important to be practiced by both students and professionals in order to acquire knowledge and in order to discover that learning is, indeed, fun and exciting.

In the context of being a self-directed learner, it is very evident that there is a need for an individual to possess skills and talents which makes him unique and which can make him the best student and professional he can be. However, to direct one’s self is not an easy tasks for it takes one to have patience and understanding that everything in the surrounding comes from a certain origin and that is what has to be discovered in the learning process. Moreover, self-directed learning and being a self-aware one makes an individual acquire more knowledge other than what is taught and given within the four walls of the classroom.

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As mentioned, having to practice the 16 habits of the mind is the important factor which greatly influences a person’s success and his way towards being a self-directed and self-aware learner. Other than these 16 habits, there are also other factors which are important; these includes focusing one’s attention on the tasks and responsibilities being assigned to and being able to have that initiate and common sense to take necessary actions should the need arises.
This paper clearly discusses how a student and a professional must engage themselves in behaviours and attitudes which can contribute to their success. INTRODUCTION All individuals have the intention of becoming a successful professional in whatever field one wants to engage himself in. There are factors which can influence the success of a person. It all starts in having a god foundation of basic, secondary and tertiary education. Academic institutions must, therefore, give the best instructions to all students so they can land a good job soon after they graduate.
On the other hand, the success of a student could not only be attributed to the instructions given the teachers within the four walls of the classroom. There is also a need for the student to learn things on his own, to explore the world and to discover things which are not taught in school. It is a fact that everything is not learned from school. Some things are learned through experiences; reading books, newspapers; watching television shows and browsing the internet. These are not only the sources of information. There can be a lot more should a student is willing to devout much time of it.
One of the many factors in which a student must develop in his early years of schooling is the ability to direct his own self towards the learning process. To possess the ability of self-directed and self-aware learner makes him easy to understand the instructions given by the teacher and to discover the wonders of the world. A self-directed learner and a self-aware one is one of the important behaviours each student must have in order to achieve what they want to achieve and in order to become what they want to be in the future.
Successful business and government leaders in the country have the initiative to learn and discover things on their own; thus, they have practiced being a self-directed and a self-aware learner. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION Students use various ways to learn and students have various intellectual levels, either. But this must not hinder one’s desire to be ahead of others and to learn new things other than those being taught in school. One of the attributes of being a self-directed learner is the ability to apply the 16 Habits of the Mind. These habits have been characterized by successful personalities in the world.
These include having the persistence and perseverance to complete a task, being an impulsive manager, to listen to others with understanding and empathy, to think with flexibility, have the ability of metacognitition, to strive for accuracy, to question and pose problems, to apply past knowledge to new situations, to think and communicate with clarity and precision, to gather data through all senses, to respond with wonderment and awe, to create, imagine and innovate, to take responsible risks, to think interdependently and to remain open to continuous learning.
These habits focus the attention of the students and professionals on the processes and strategies to engage in an effective learning environment. (Campbell) The behaviour to direct one’s self to learning is a process and a psychological predisposition of the learner. In this process, the learner, on his own, identifies his needs, defines his learning goals and develops and implement the learning plans. Those who are successful in the practice of this process are those who are highly ready for self-directed learning which happens to be a complex mixture of knowledge, skills, habits and attitudes.
(Guglielmo,P) In addition, self-directed learning is natural process in which it has not lost its power to output a high quality education which can bring fulfilment. For self-directed learning, the learner must choose the content on his own, be able to determine schedules, to learn with great passion and to lead and live a very productive life. Self-directed learners have the initiatives to develop learning style on their own. They are responsible in their own time and action. (Langerfeldt)
For a student or a professional to become a successful self-directed and self-aware learner, one must possess the ability to engage himself in new styles and ways to acquire knowledge. With the advent of information technology, there are various styles which can then be applied by anybody who craves success. Being a self-directed and self-aware learner requires one to be a leader on his own. Being a leader means being real, being authentic. Being a leader also means focusing one’s strengths on the tasks assigned and to never forget that there is always a room for improvement and being a leader means to capitalize on one’s uniqueness.
(Ambler,2006) In addition, there is a need for an individual to raise his awareness on the things that matter most. To raise self-awareness, one must be given choices regularly. For the teachers, there is a need to put himself on the learner’s shoes, the teacher must analyze the advantages of this type of learning and the teacher must be able to employ effective strategies to ensure that learning is facilitated in the most easy and convenient way. (Chojnacka,2000)
To become a self-directed and self-aware learner, one has to practice mindfulness- that is to focus on the most important things which can contribute to the success of his own self and to the company, in general. There is also a need for an individual to know himself so he can make choices on how he can respond to the demands of the people around him and the situation he might encounter in the future. When one has an in-depth understanding of his own self, it is much easier for one to be consistent and to follow and trust those people who are sincere. (Ambler, 2007)
The most important factor to influence one’s success is having the ability to direct one’s self in learning and be more aware of the people and the environment in which he is a part. Another characteristic of becoming a self-directed learner is the ability to be resourceful – to explore, investigate and delve into the reasons behind the existence of things. Being enrolled in the world class academic institution is not the only assurance to become a successful and an influential person; but also having the ability to lead one’s self towards the endless quest for knowledge.
Students must always remember that learning is a continuous process; hence, they must acquire skills which can make them different from the rest. In self-directed learning, the learner must be able to understand and recognize that learning includes actions on their part and they must acquire certain skills and knowledge to meet their learning needs. There must also be strategies in which these are flexible and adaptable to the learner to ensure that the process is conducted in a very smooth flow. (Wulff, Burke & Hurley, 2001)
CONCLUSION In the world where competition is so stiff and strong, there is a need for an individual to possess skill which makes him ahead of others and which makes him more saleable than others. This starts in having the ability to learn and engage his self in activities which can enhance his critical-thinking and logical skills. To become a self-directed and self-aware learner, one must have the reasoning ability and the initiate to take actions on how to uncover the truth behind the existence of everything.
Not only should this be sought by the learners but also the unending process of learning must be fully understood. It is, therefore, important for students and professionals to become self-directed and self-aware learners in order to excel and to bring pride and glory to the organization in which one works. It may not be an easy task to become a self-directed learner; however, it is a very fulfilling one. Lastly, in the area of learning, being a self-directed and self-aware are important behaviours which students and professionals must possess.
RECOMMENDATION Becoming a successful student or professional is no easy task for one must be a self-directed and self-aware learner. To become such, it is recommended that students, as early as their education years, must practice the habits of the mind in order to exercise their thoughts and to invoke their reasoning ability to be able to cope with the demands of the people and the environment. It is also important for the teachers to give activities to students which allows them to think rationally and with deep understanding on what they are doing.
In the same manner, in the professional world, there is also a need for an individual to engage his self to activities which enhances greater chance of developing his skills such as listen and understand that no two people or situation are the same. The attitude of listening and understanding are two most important factors for one to become a self-directed and self-aware learner. In addition, it is also recommended that an individual must, at all time, use his initiative in attacking problems. REFERENCES Ambler, G. (2006). ”Leader, Be Yourself”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://www.
thepracticeofleadership. net/2006/04/03/leader-be-yourself/. Amber, G. (2006). “The Practice of Mindfulness”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. thepracticeofleadership. net/2007/07/18/the-practice-of-mindfulness/. Campbell,J. “Theorising Habits of Mind as a Framework for Learning”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. aare. edu. au/06pap/cam06102. pdf. Chojnacka,E. (2000). “Raising Self-awareness in advanced Learners Practicing Listening Comprehension”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. iatefl. org. pl/tdal/n3selfaware. htm. Guglielmo,P. (2003).
“Becoming a More Self-Directed Learner”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://media. wiley. com/product_data/excerpt/49/07879650/0787965049. pdf. Langerfeldt, B. (2009). “Self-Directed Learning-The Seven Benefits of Designing your own Education”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://ezinearticles. com/? Self-Directed-Learning—The-Seven-Benefits-of-Designing-Your-Own-Education&id=1054279. Wulff,S. ; et al. (2001). “Guided Self-Learning: Strategies for distance and On-site Education”. Retrieved on May 3, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. uwex. edu/disted/conference/Resource_library/proceedings/01_7. pdf.

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