Heutagogy and Lifelong Learning: A Review of Heutagogical Practice and Self-Determined Learning

Lisa Marie Blaschke, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Feb 01, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

One thing I've learned over the years in education and social science generally: for anything you can think of, someone has created a 'theory' of that thing. Thus we have heutagogy, which is "a form of self-determined learning with practices and principles rooted in andragogy." A key concept in heutagogy is 'double-loop learning' "In double-loop learning, learners consider the problem and the resulting action and outcomes, in addition to reflecting upon the problem-solving process and how it influences the learner’s own beliefs and actions." Or as I would say (without the academic mantra), "practice and reflection".

That said, the discussion around heutagogy is important. It is an explicit recognition of the importance of self-directed learning, and explicitly described the move from competences to capabilities. As such, it explains much of the appeal of web 2.0, e-learning 2.0, informal learning (as described volumously by people like Jay Cross) and (dare I say) connectivism. Indeed, most of the work cited in this paper comes only a couple of years after e-learning 2.0 - from 2007-2010. The work from Kenyon and Hase stands on its own, but the rest of it, I think, really ought to be read in this wider context.
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