Competencies For Carrying Out Self-Directed Learning Projects

Following are the skills required for a learner to become involved in a self-directed learning project. Examine each and ask yourself the question: "How much of each competency do I have?"

(Adapted from Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning. Chicago: Follett.)

  1. The ability to develop and be in touch with curiosities. Perhaps another way of describing this skill would be "the ability to engage in divergent thinking."
  2. The ability to formulate questions, based on personal curiosities, that are answerable through inquiry (in contrast to questions that are answerable by authority or faith).
  3. The ability to perceive yourself objectively and accept feedback from others about personal performance nondefensively.
  4. The ability to diagnose your own learning needs in light of models of competence required for performing life roles.
  5. The ability to identify human, material, and experiential resources for accomplishing various kinds of learning objectives.
  6. The ability to identify data required to answer various kinds of questions.
  7. The ability to locate the most relevant and reliable sources of any required or acquired data.
  8. The ability to select and use the most efficient means for collecting any required data from various sources.
  9. The ability to organize, analyze, and evaluate the data so as to get valid answers to questions.
  10. The ability to design a plan of strategies for making use of appropriate learning resources in answering questions or meeting learning needs.
  11. The ability to carry out a learning plan systematically and sequentially. This skill is the beginning of the ability to engage in convergent thinking.
  12. The ability to collect evidence of the accomplishment of learning objectives and have it validated through subsequent performance.

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