Self-Directed Learning: An imperative for education in a complex society

Volume editor
Elsa Mentz
Volume editor
Dorothy Laubscher
Volume editor
Jako Olivier


This book on self-directed learning (SDL) is devoted to original academic scholarship within the field of education, and is the 6th volume in the North-West University (NWU) SDL book series. In this book the authors explore how self-directed learning can be considered an imperative for education in a complex modern society.

Although each chapter represents independent research in the field of self-directed learning, the chapters form a coherent contribution concerning the scholarship of self-directed learning, and specifically the effect of environmental and praxis contexts on the enhancement of self-directed learning in a complex society. The publication as a whole provides diverse perspectives on the importance of self-directed learning in varied contexts. Scholars working in a wide range of fields are drawn together in this scholarly work to present a comprehensive dialogue regarding self-directed learning and how this concept functions in a complex and dynamic higher education context.

This book presents a combination of theory and practice, which reflects selected conceptual dimensions of self-directed learning in society, as well as research-based findings pertaining to current topical issues relating to implementing self-directed learning in the modern world. The varied methodologies provide the reader with different and balanced perspectives, as well as varied and innovative ideas on how to conduct research in the field of self-directed learning.


  • Chapter 1
    The promotion of self-directed learning through the African philosophy of ubuntu
    Charlene du Toit-Brits, Henry Blignaut, Maureen Kapute Mzuza
  • Chapter 2
    The influence of the learning environment on promoting self-directed learning
    Charlene du Toit-Brits
  • Chapter 3
    Diluted self-directed multimodal learning guidelines: Probing online study advice in the context of panic pedagogy
    Jako Olivier
  • Chapter 4
    Exploring microworlds as supporting environments for self-directed multimodal learning
    Amit Dhakulkar, Jako Olivier
  • Chapter 5
    Identifying adaptive prompts to facilitate metacognitive regulation during online learning
    Divan Jagals, Per Bergamin
  • Chapter 6
    Knowledge surveys: Supporting students along pathways to self-directed learning with self-assessment
    Karl Wirth, Edward B. Nuhfer, Rachel Watson, Steven Fleisher, Roxanne Bailey
  • Chapter 7
    Self-directed learning: a sine qua non in in-service teacher education
    Tswakae Sebotsa, Josef de Beer, Jeanne Kriek
  • Chapter 8
    Exploring collaboration as a 21st-century skill to enhance self-directed learning while teaching Particulate Nature of Matter through problem-based learning
    Motlhale J. Sebatana, Washington Dudu
  • Chapter 9
    Assessing pre-service mathematics teachers’ problem-solving proficiency using multiple-solution tasks: An imperative for self-directed learning
    Sfiso C. Mahlaba
  • Chapter 10
    Being, becoming, and belonging: The ethnosemantic structure of folk arithmetic of street vendors as self-directed learners
    Iman C. Chahine


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