As part of my course “Facilitating online learning” #EDUC90970, I’m having the opportunity to read more about education. I’m quite familiar with most educational concepts, so I was quite intrigued when a new word came along: Heutagogy.
Heutagogy is a humanistic instructional strategy based on many well-established theories, such as self-efficacy, self-determination, self-regulated learning, self-directed learning and constructivism (a summary of these can be found in Blaschke & Hase, 2019). It has been defined as a student-centred self-determined learning experience. Below some of the original authors of Heutagogy defined it one tweet:
An Heutagogic learning design gets students to explore, create, collaborate, connect, reflect and share as part of their learning experience. At its core, it puts students in a position where they become an active agent of their learning process.
The learner is in much more control of their own learning in this approach than in Andragogy, for example. Although there may be some environmental constraints, learners are involved in each step of the way. This includes their participation in co-creating a learning contract, activities and outcomes, as presented below in an image of the Heutagogic Design Process (Blaschke & Hase, 2016).
Such autonomy and involvement is believed to promote a deep learning experience, or a double-looping learning, in which students acquire new knowledge while also changing their believes and views of the world. As Hase and Kenyon (2013) stated, “learning results in a whole new set of questions to ask” (p.24), taking students in an individual and self-motivated learning journey. Which, in turn, shifts the teacher to a facilitator role, or a partner of the learning process, helping students to shape and achieve their own goals, and monitor their journey to get there.
To be honest, I couldn’t quite understand or visualise how to apply Heutagogy until I got into the double-looping learning about it myself. Our #EDUC90970 teacher Thom Cochrane mentioned in a comment of a previous post here that an example of this approach included Montessori education in early-learning education. This is when it all started to make sense to me. I went to a Montessori school for most of my childhood, until I was 11 years old. I remember being very enthusiastic about learning and loving the freedom to move between learning objects as I pleased. I often wondered whether there would be a similar approach to adult education – so here it is – Heutagogy.
So how could I as a teacher re-create similar experiences to my own students, particularly in online environments? This seems to be the beginning of a journey, as the more I read about Heutagogy more questions I have and the more I notice my thinking about teaching changing. Over the last two weeks, I already noticed that my thinking started to move from “How am I going to teach this?” to “How am I going to facilitate and support students’ to learn about this?”. I would like to provide students with freedom to explore the content, while connecting it to their own interest and prior knowledge. I’m not quite sure how this would look like, but there seems to be many more articles for me to read about it to help me in my journey. As this course progresses I hope to go deeper into it, particularly when designing my online course as part of the assignment for the #EDUC90970 subject.
Blaschke L.M., Hase S. (2016) Heutagogy: A Holistic Framework for Creating Twenty-First-Century Self-determined Learners. In Gros B., Kinshuk, Maina M. (Eds), The Future of Ubiquitous Learning. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology (pp. 25-40). Springer.
Blaschke, L. M., & Hase, S. (2019). Heutagogy and digital media networks. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 1(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjtel.v1i1.1
Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2013). The nature of learning. In S. Hase & C. Kenyon (Eds.), Self-determined learning: Heutagogy in action (pp. 19-35). Bloomsbury Academic.