Enhancing Self-directed Learning Readiness at Elementary Level; a Study from American Schools

Norah Bakheet Alwadaeen, Bonnie Piller


Being continual and future-oriented in all its levels, the field of education is turning towards a student-centered approach. One of the trends to investigate in lifelong learners who keep pace with the fast and unpredictable changing world is enhancing self-directed learning which is considered to be one of the most prominent phenomena for the 21st century learners. This study investigates possible ways of enhancing self-directed learning readiness in American K-12 schools. The literature highlights a three-dimension model to study the students’ self-directed learning readiness: learning resources and physical arrangements of the school dimension, diagnostic and evaluation dimension, and emotional and social environment dimension. This study aims to answer the research question of how to enhance self-directed learning readiness in American K-12 schools. For this purpose, semi-structured observations were conducted to observe a teacher with one group of third-grade students. An interview was conducted with the teacher as well in order to provide more perspective to the data. The study findings highlight the importance of all three dimensions in enhancing the students’ self-directed learning readiness. It is concluded by stating the crucial role of society represented in guardians, families, and private sector in boosting students’ self-directed learning readiness. In addition, it is found that to achieve an active and successful community partnership, the awareness of the role of society is to be raised. Consequently, the emotional and social dimension could impact on the other two dimensions positively. Finally, this study recommends the consideration of self-directed learning and its considerable implications on the Saudi context that could help in enhancing students’ self-directed learning readiness which goes in line with the Saudi vision 2030.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v11n4p24


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