Embedding Motivation in the Self-Directedness of First Year Teachers Student
Du Toit, Charlene
Van Zyl, Chris-Mari
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This article investigated the relation between learning motivation and self-directedness in learning of first-year teacher students. Self-directed learning is characterized as one of the fastest growing areas of research in the past forty years. Self-directed learning can be regarded as an essential skill in the 21st century and it implies that the acquisition of school subject knowledge alone is not sufficient; skills such as critical thinking, resource identification and responsibility to learn should be emphasised. Furthermore, a student with a high level of self-directedness in learning can set educational objectives and also reach these objectives as well as successfully avail themselves of opportunities beyond the boundaries of formal education, which can accordingly lead to career success and economic growth. Although the value of self-directed learning can be overstated, students find it difficult to keep up with the academic pace due to the leap from secondary to tertiary education. It turns out that first-year students qualify on paper for university admission, but in fact they cannot acquire the necessary academic skills (including self-directed learning). Despite the lack of self-directed learning activities in secondary education De Lange et al. (2010) mention several factors that can affect teaching and learning (as well as self-directed learning) of a student, namely a lack of motivation. From the above statement it is evident that a lack of motivation may have an effect on a student's self-directedness in learning. Learning motivation is the driving force behind the implementation of self-directed learning activities although learning motivation is characterized as one of the most popular research dimensions in the area of self-directed learning. In an attempt to explain the above context and interpret this study, an interpretivistic qualitative research design was followed. The main research findings of this article included that learning motivation is the driving force behind self-directed learning, and therefore it enables students to learn in a self-directed manner.
- Faculty of Education