Self-directed learning is learning in which the design, conduct, and evaluation of a learning effort are directed by the learner. Such learning was said to represent the submerged part of the adult learning iceberg in an influential series of studies undertaken by the Canadian researcher Allen Tough in the 1960s and 1970s. Tough speculated that self-directed learning efforts accounted for more than 80% of all adult learning. Self-directed learning efforts are not to be thought of as occurring in isolation, however, because a consistent theme of research in this area is the way in which learners move in and out of learning networks and consult a range of peers and experts. The key point is that decisions about what and how to learn, and which ...

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