Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

The Heutogogy Approach

Heutogogy: Willem Oliver, November1st, 2015.

By Marwa Kotb.

Questioning, are we preparing students to be self-learners. Studies, reports, articles, even the disastrous MOOCs dropouts are clear evidences that we aren’t. In fact, I believe as students grow older, their ability to be effective self-determined or self-directed learners is reduced (Hase, n.d.). Thinking of what went wrong, I believe there are three main reasons. First, educational institutes are persistent to keep the full control of all aspects of learning. Second, Educators are hesitant about relinquishing their academic powers. And last, throughout the learning journey we are conducting students’ focus and effort on assessments and grades rather than the learning process. The latter is undermining students to take intellectual risks and produced the worst phenomena in the education systems which is teaching for the test.

It’s time to think about learning in a revolutionary way (Blaschke, 2012, January). “Pedagogical, even andragogical, educational methods are no longer fully sufficient” (Blaschke, 2012, January) to prepare students to thrive in the new rapidly changing economy. A more self-directed and self-determined approach is needed, and thus I think we should consider the heutogogy framework where students are partners in the learning process and educators guide within a highly flexible curriculum. In this approach, students “create the learning map, and instructors serve as the compass” (2007). Our roles as educators should be supporting students in defining and determining their individual learning paths, preparing them for the complexities of the learning environment, increasing their confidence in their perceptions, and creating a sense that make students feel autonomous, competent and relatedness (American Psychological Association., 2004, July 21).

The university of Western Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, is an example of one institution that has implemented a heutagogical approach in its teacher education program, the university has identified a significant improvement in both the development of their students’ competencies, and the development of their capabilities and capacities to learn (Blaschke, 2012, January). I personally hope that more universities take the lead and implement the approach in their programs.