Self-Directed Learning (SDL): Academics’ Perceptions towards Students’ Learning
In the face of stunning scientific and technological innovations and changes, human being is entering into a new world which they never experienced before. Continuous learning would be the core factor of their existence in such situations. In this turbulent environment, it is important to be an independent learner rather than relying on someone else for directing our own learning. Hence, individuals have to develop the skills of self-directed inquiry in order to avoid anxiety and frustration because it is no longer makes sense to teach students what they need to know when basic bodies of knowledge quickly change; thus, it is better that students be taught how to learn and reflect rather than taught. In spite of this, extent to which level, the present practices of the Humanities and Social sciences courses in the higher education institutions in Sri Lanka have contributed towards to develop these skills of the students is a puzzle. The available literature suggests that there is a mismatch between the practices and expectations of the Humanities and Social sciences disciplines in higher education institutions in Sri Lanka. Among the factors affected to develop SDL skills in the students, perception of the academics towards students learning and his/her role is highly significant. This study mainly conducted to find out the academics’ perception towards students’ SDL and the practices they have been taken to develop the SDL skills of the students in their teaching learning process, Apart from the structured interviews, the same self directed learning readiness scale which was administered among the students was administered to 25academics who were purposively selected from the faculties of arts and education of the University of Colombo. More than the 65% of the academics in sample stressed that the students’ awareness on SDL is poor. Nearly 70% of the respondents pointed out that students do not practice or apply the relevant strategies which need to practice by a self-directed learner. As per the result of the interviews held with academic is concerned, majority of the academics have a negative perception towards students’ SDL.
Keywords- Self-Directed Learning, Academics’ Perception