Trends and Roles Reflection: Insights – Heutagogy

The term heutagogy (Hase and Kenyon, 2000) was introduced to describe the theory and practice of self-determined learning. This took the work on the concept of  andragogy one step further and looked to “the future in which knowing how to learn will be a fundamental skill given the pace of innovation and the changing structure of communities and workplaces” (Hase and Kenyon, 2000, p. 1)’

While andragogy focused on many elements that would transform education, including elements of self-directed learning, heutagogy  poses that the role of the teacher, rather than being the facilitator, is to develop the capability of the learner to direct themselves through formative evaluation and reflection.

This resonated with me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have always been drawn to figuring things out for myself, and preferred to dictate how I learn. Any struggles I have had in my life in relation to education in general have been in situations that were largely teacher -centric and didn’t offer flexibility.

I think back to my worst-ever mark in Math, in Grade 9. Math was always one of my strongest subjects, and something I grasped quite easily.  Unfortunately that year, I had a teacher who insisted that all of her students do pages and pages of repetitive exercises as homework. I refused to do so, as once I had mastered a concept, felt that the repetitive homework assignments were a worthless exercise. I would continue to score in the high 90’s on tests, but with the zeroes I continually received for failing to complete my homework, I ended up with a final mark in the mid 60’s.

Secondly, I have always approached my work from a continuous improvement model, where reflection and honest questioning are critical to moving forward effectively. The Japanese refer to this as “kaizen”, most often associated with the manufacturing sector.

This is increasingly important as we look at ways to adapt our education system to a world that can provide a rapidly changing and  overwhelming amount of information to the learner and teacher, in ways that are accessible and flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of audiences. The days where one would go the the library to research the one or two books available on a subject are far behind us, and being able to develop the capability to sift through all of the noise to access the critical and most meaningful information are skills our teachers are going to have to assist the 21st century learner in developing.

As I examine my own role in education, particularly in the broad sense of creating pathways and opportunities for skill development to happen in the tourism and hospitality industry, as opposed to being a direct participant in an individual’s learning process, I see the  wide range of roles that teachers, mentors, and individuals themselves need to be able to adapt to in order to meet the needs of an ever evolving world.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download


From Andragogy to Heutagogy (Hase and Kenyon, 2000)

Heutagogy Community of Practice

Education in the Digital Age

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