Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Inspired Self-Directed Learning: How Motivated Children Pilot Their Own Learning Paths

Kristen Miney, Fielding's School for Human and Organizational Development

How motivation drives learning through a self-directed process, especially in childhood, has become a much theorized, researched, and developed topic. Human learning, once recognized as self-driven, was explored with motivation inquiries, defined with self-determined effort studies, and found depth through perseverance findings. Questions that emerged from a review of literature defined my examination into this dynamic: the first recognized experience with inspiration, the self-directed method, and the collaborative engagement.

This research investigated the inspiration that sparks initiative, the self-directedness for developing a plan, and the collaborative mind-set to enlist others in achieving a learning goal. Six fifth- and sixth-grade teachers recommended eight motivated students, of which four student-parent interviews chronicled first recognized experiences with inspiration. Qualitative analysis examined the multiple perspectives around the synergistic themes of ambitious and collaborative learning, analytical intellect and introspective awareness, and supportive circumstances.

Keywords: andragogy, ambition, curiosity, qualitative research, grit and perseverance, initiative, heutagogy, self-directed learning, social learning.

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