Complexity of the concept of self-directed learning

Aiste Bartkeviciene, Vilma Zydziunaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article analyzes the concept of self-directed learning in semantic and conceptual approaches. The research focus is the concept of self-directed learning. The aim of research is to illuminate the characteristics of self-directed learning. The method of research is the concept analysis. The article aims at answering the research question: how to define the self-directed learning? What are characteristic of self-directed learning? Conclusions. By summarizing it can be stated that self-directed learning is the process in which the main focus is on the learner, who is characterized by certain personal attributes and has mastered social and managerial competencies; he/she purposiveiy designs learning process, manages personal learning process with or without the help of others, analyzes personal values, attitudes, manages and reflects personal emotions that form preconditions for solving emerging problems when making decisions in learning environment and thus self-directed learner develops human and social capital. Self-directed learning can be realized in formal, non-formal and informal learning systems. However, when the self-directed learning focuses on the most vulnerable social groups, such as the disabled, oncological patients and their families, the elderly, refugees and immigrants, the aim of which is to struggle with difficulties, desperate situations and change their Uves, the best way to realize self-directed learning could be non-formal and informal learning system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
JournalApplied research in health and social sciences : interface and interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • Self-directed learning
  • Personal attributes
  • Managerial competence
  • Social competenceValuesCritical thinkingReflectionEducational environment
  • Values
  • Critical thinking
  • Reflection
  • Educational environment

Cite this