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Teacher Educators’ Perspectives on the Sociocultural Dimensions of Self-Directed Learning

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2016.718257    1,224 Downloads   2,136 Views


The concept of self-directed learning (SDL) has been extensively studied; however, the majority of studies have explored learners’ perspectives on SDL, with less attention paid to investigating SDL from educators’ perspectives. Moreover, although there is a growing body of literature investigating the cultural dimension of SDL, most of these studies are limited to examining the formation of SDL among individuals influenced by Western or Confucian cultures, ignoring the existence of other cultural groups. This study, which investigates Malaysian teacher educators’ conceptualisations of SDL, begins to address these gaps. Twenty Malaysian teacher educators were interviewed to obtain their views on SDL. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to inform the methodological framework of this study, whilst a hybrid inductive and deductive analysis approach was used to analyse the interview data. The findings of this study suggest that a more comprehensive conceptualisation of SDL is required that recognises the fundamental role of both the self and of educators in SDL, and acknowledges the impact of the sociocultural context on SDL. Informed by the existing SDL literature, and derived from fine-grained analysis of the interview data, the proposed definition of SDL foreground SDL as socially constructed learning where the learner takes control of his or her own learning processes within complex sociocultural contexts. This study concludes by recommending that future research investigates the impact of various cultures on learning, in order to develop a broader and more nuanced understanding of SDL.

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Nasri, N. and Mansor, A. (2016) Teacher Educators’ Perspectives on the Sociocultural Dimensions of Self-Directed Learning. Creative Education, 7, 2755-2773. doi: 10.4236/ce.2016.718257.

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