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Heutagogy: An Effective Self-Determined approach for neoteric learners.

Heutagogy: An Effective Self-Determined Approach for Neoteric Learners” A paper presented by Krishna kumar M.R, PhD research scholar (Annamalai university ) at International Virtual Akhand Conference of Global Education Research Association at the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda on 7th and 8th January 2021.

In a digital age of learning, it is important to craft the learning process that matches the interest and ability of the learner. Neoteric learners prefer to use advanced technology-based gadgets and social media platforms for their learning needs. The purpose of this paper is to compile the ideas behind transforming the conventional learning environments to a more self-determined heutagogy approach to learning. A more effective self-reflective double-loop learning, which moves through a nonlinear path, is suggested for neoteric learners. Changing demands in the job market point to the need for a restructured and profound approach to learning. Capability building is considered to be the core skill than attaining competencies. This study underlines the importance of bringing a heutagogy approach to the learning behavior among Neoteric learners.

Advancement in technology leads to more innovative behavior in Neoteric learners. To enable a congenial atmosphere and to accelerate the learning we need to incorporate the learning activities that match to the advancement of technology. A Self determined and autonomous approach to learning need to be promoted. Heutagogy based learning environment will provide the neoteric learners with a methodology that suits their learning needs.

The purpose of this article is to compile the ideas behind transforming pedagogy and andragogy-based programs to a more self-determined heutagogy approach to learning. The role of self- motivation and change in mindset and its impacts in learner is stated throughout this paper. A more effective self-reflective double loop learning, which moves through a nonlinear path, is suggested for neoteric learners. It is of great importance to realize the significance of lifelong learning in a technologically advanced global world. Changing demands in the job market points to the need for a restructured and profound approach to learning. Capability building is considered to be the core skill than attaining competencies. This article titled “Heutagogy: An Effective Self-Determined approach for neoteric learners” underlies the importance of bringing a heutagogy approach in the learning behavior among Neoteric learners.

Neoteric Learners

The word neoteric is adapted from the Late Latin word neotericus, which also means "recent." Neoteric learners are modern learners that are more exposed to the advancement of technology. Neoteric learners are digital natives that use digital devices and electronic gadgets for their learning. Neoteric learners are more connected to social media platforms and MOOCs for fulfilling their learning needs. Neoteric learners are more mastery oriented than performance oriented. Neoteric learners are more autonomous learners and prefer self-learning.

Heutagogy and Its Dimensions

Heutagogy is otherwise known as self-determined learning. Unlike pedagogy it is an instructional strategy where the learners are more self-determined and autonomous. Heutagogy is the science of creating learning more independent, determined and collaborative. The idea of heutagogy was first proposed by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon (2000) as the study of self- determined learning. The theory applies a holistic approach to developing learner capacity and capability and makes learners “the major agent in their own learning, which occurs, as a result of personal experience” (Blaschke, Lisa Marie, 2012, Hase & Kenyon, 2007).

Heutagogy is considered to be a continuum of the self-directed learning theory “Andragogy”. It is a transformation of a learner from pedagogy to andragogy then to heutagogy.

(Figure 1). In the pedagogic process the learner is more depended to the teacher and heutagogy provides no dependence to the teacher.

Figure 1

Progression from pedagogy to andragogy then to heutagogy.

Heutagogy consider more importance to the learners meta cognition and promotes a self- reflective approach to learning. Heutagogy thus provide an active learning environment and develop learner autonomy and self-determination among learners. The objective of heutagogy is to develop competent and creative professionals in the changing complex scenario in a technically advanced world. However, it is not possible to neglect the pedagogic approach to learning because of its necessity to understand the basic concepts and ideas in school.

Characteristics of Heutagogy based Learning practices

a) Generating capability building

Heutagogy approach concentrates more on developing capabilities than competencies. Competency development is restricted by targets and objectives, but capability building is rather endless and lifelong challenge. By heutagogy approach learner can focus on capability building, which leads to deeper understanding and constructionistic outcome.

b) Double loop learning exercises

Heutagogy is based on double loop learning process. It is a learning idea developed by Chris Argyris in 1980. Double loop learning enables learners to think more deeply about their own understanding and to think in a reflective way. Double loop learning is an advanced learning program for single loop learning which concentrates only on improving efficiency.

c) Nonlinear learning

For better understanding of nonlinear learning model, it is advisable to comprehend the features of linear model and find the distinction between both. Linear model of learning is more formal and structured learning model. In linear learning model the curriculum and the progression path is more structured and pre rooted. The flexibility for a divergent path is restricted in this model. The learning paths and progression is set and structured by curriculum and learner depends more on targets and objectives, than unlimited understanding. Nonlinear learning is a more flexible learning program that offers exposure to different topics and a high degree of flexibility and self-determination. Thus, nonlinear programs lead to the heutagogy approach to learning. Nonlinear learning method is key to heutagogy approach. In heutagogy approach the learner adopt personalized path for learning program.

d) Cultivating Growth mindset

The interest and success of learning depends on the way we think and wish. For potential learning to happen we need a mindset that enables growth. The idea of growth mindset is put forward by Carol S Dweck. According to her “There are two main mindsets we can navigate life with: growth and fixed. Having a growth mindset is essential for success”. People with fixed mindset accept failures fast, while those with growth mindset have grit and an urge to win. They don’t accept setbacks and they find new ways to learn and apply. While applying heutagogy for neoteric learners, it is of great importance to develop a growth mindset among the learners. Self-determination is a key feature of heutagogy and that can be attained by having a growth mindset only.

e) Exploring Web2.0 Learning Platforms

Web 2.0 commonly known as participatory and social web is a web platform that promotes user generated content and shared content. Web 2.0 can be used to interact and collaborate with each other through social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. The invention of Web 2.0 was a revolutionary shift in the way web-based information is created and shared.

While using Web 2.0 in learning, the learner has the authority to decide with whom to learn with, what to learn and when to learn. This flexible option generates more learner autonomy and deeper learning. The more flexible options in heutagogy approach leads to less boredom sessions. Heutagogy approach to learning has got two learning spaces for learners, the group learning space and personal learning space. Web 2.0 Integration can work as a bridge between the both.


A Self-Determined approach for neoteric learners

Integration and implementation of heutagogy based learning program for learners has got strategical importance. An intelligent intervention into the content and mode of knowledge delivery is needed while delivering heutagogy based learning program among neoteric learners. Unlike traditional learning environments heutagogy based learning should offer both intrinsic and extrinsic motivating environment. A self-determined approach needed to be encouraged among neoteric learners while implementing Heutagogy approach in learning. It takes revolutionary steps to restructure the linear, structured and rigid approach to learning.

The primary step to implementing a heutagogy approach is to develop a growth mindset among neoteric learners. Heutagogy approach cannot be successfully implemented unless teachers and learners get deeply determined for a change and possess an urge to grow. A congenial environment for growth is needed for that mind shift and it is essential to provide that learning environment for neoteric learners.

Krishna kumar M.R.


Laxmi Global School


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