Overcoming Resistance to Self-Direction in Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994

Roger Hiemstra and Ralph G. Brockett (Editors)

New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education

Number 64, Winter 1994

Jossey-Bass Publishers

Ralph B. Brockett, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Alan B. Knox, University of Wisconsin, Madison, CONSULTING EDITOR


© 1994 by Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers. All rights reserved.

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LC 85-644750 ISSN 0195-2242 ISBN 0-7879-9981-4

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR ADULT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION is part of the Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series and is published quarterly by Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, California 94104-1342 (publication number USPS 493-930). Second-class postage paid at San Francisco, California, and at additional mailing offices.

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Cover photograph by Wernher Krutein/PHOTOVAULT ©1990.

As this book is now out of print, permission to reproduce this sourcebook on this web site for use by Elmira College graduate students was granted via a letter dated April 27, 2001, reference #: 4809 ee. This material is used by permission of Jossey-Bass, Inc., a subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Editor's Notes (Roger Hiemstra, Ralph G. Brockett)

1. Resistance to Self-Direction in Adult Learning: Myths and Misunderstandings (Ralph G. Brockett)

Educators and learners often resist the introduction of self-directed learning because of misunderstandings about it or about its underlying philosophy of humanism.

2. Resources Related to Overcoming Resistance to Self-Direction in Learning (Huey B. Long)

Definitions of several important terms serve as a bridge to the remainder of the volume. An annotated list of key resources is provided.

3. Portfolio Assessment as a Strategy for Self-Direction in Learning (Jean Ellen Jones)

Portfolio development can be a valuable strategy for promoting self-direction in the formal classroom setting. Here, art education is used to illustrate such use.

4. Adopting Self-Directed Learning in Continuing Professional Education: Physicians and Architects (Gary J. Confessore, Sharon J. Confessore)

Continuing professional education offers an important context for promoting self-direction in learning. An understanding of professions and reflective practice can help minimize resistance.

5. Practical Experience with Self-Directed Learning in Business and Industry Human Resource Development (Lucy M. Guglielmino, Paul J. Guglielmino)

In several cases, principles of self-direction have been successfully used in business and industry settings. Sources of resistance in this context are addressed.

6. Applying Self-Directed Learning Principles in the Technical Training of a High-Risk Industry (Constance C. Blackwood)

Learner resistance is a reality in situations where training is mandated. A number of strategies designed to break down resistance to learning in such situations by introducing elements of self-direction are described.

7. Using Technology to Provide Self-Directed Learning Options for Power Utility Employees (Thomas D. Phelan)

How can technology help learners overcome resistance to self-direction? A five-step process is outlined and discussed within the context of employee career development in a power utility.

8. Resistance by Educators to Using a Self-Directed Learning Perception Scale (Jane Pilling-Cormick)

The author has developed a new instrument to measure perceptions of self-directedness among learners. Experiences in using the instrument with resistant instructors are described.

9. Enhancing Self-Direction in the Adult Learner: Instructional Techniques for Teachers and Trainers ( Susan B. Slusarski)

What can teachers and trainers do to help learners overcome resistance to self-direction? A variety of useful techniques are presented.

10. Helping Learners Take Responsibility for Self-Directed Activities (Roger Hiemstra)

Seventy-eight micro components of self-direction are described. By understanding these components, educators can help learners take increasing responsibility for self-direction in every phase of the teaching-learning process.

11. Resistance to Self-Direction in Learning Can Be Overcome (Roger Hiemstra, Ralph G. Brockett)

Key concepts and themes from previous chapters are highlighted to demonstrate that resistance to self-direction can indeed be overcome.

May, 2001

-- Return to Roger Hiemstra's opening page

-- Go to Editor's Notes, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, or The Index.