The Importance Of Self-Directed Learning

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As a lifelong learner, it is important to recognize one’s unique needs in order to continuously gain and create new knowledge. Self-directed learning (SDL) was found to be the basis for those who identify with being a lifelong learner (Dynan, Cate, & Rhee, 2008). Therefore, self-directed learners tend to be motivated by intrinsic incentives to successfully acquire new skills and qualities for personal and professional growth (Hiemstra, 1994; Patterson, Crooks, & Lunyl-Child, 2002). Self-directed learning is a process in which the individual determines their path in recognizing and implementing learning strategies for their needs (as cited in Dynan et al., 2008). As a self-directed learner, one has the ability to strengthen the desire to achieve and accomplish goals (Hiestra, 1994). Previous literature identified self-directed learners as the most effective learners when he or she has identified and chose their preferred learning styles. For this reason, teachers in secondary schools introduce and model various learning strategies to provide students with the foundation for future use. With this SDL skill, students should determine useful resources and tools, identify required modifications for unique needs, and address any questions (Dynan et al., 2008). This provides students with the ability to make learning meaningful and easier to retain (Dynan et al., 2008). Therefore, SDL may influence novice therapists in selecting and implementing the correct form of clinical
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