Facilitating student development in the self-directed approach to learning
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Modern academic tuition does not go along the academic lines of mass schooling. Tuition at universities sets up different objectives. It is crucial for the economic growth of countries. Therefore, significant attention is paid to the utilitarian character of academic knowledge. The effects of academic tuition are perceived as focusing on the student individuality. Being a university student implies playing a certain role, where norms of conduct, lifestyle, and professed values result from identification with the academic community, a sense of belonging to the elite of youth, characterized by an autonomy of its activity. Autonomous approach to the students’ own development is expressed by self-directedness, self-directed learning and choosing methods which facilitate constructing one’s own knowledge instead of its non-reflective acquisition. Employing concept maps is a method which facilitates subjective building of cognitive personal knowledge structures. The method uses visual techniques of learning, where the structure, or – more precisely – elements of a phenomenon are recorded, in order to grasp relationships and dependencies existing between them. Becoming conscious of these relations allows understanding them, which is a necessary condition of knowledge.
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