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Promoting Self-Directed Science Learning for All: Beyond the Scientist/Nonscientist Social Divide


As they pass year after year through the school system, individuals construct important relationships to knowledge, to the feeling of knowing, and to the act of learning. Memories of school and of the grades earned there play a key role in the formation of the self-judgments people form as adults concerning their capabilities as learners (Bandura, 1997). The status of academic science and the importance of scientific understanding have changed math grades into a compulsory passport for highest level curricula. As a consequence, bad grades in science earned at school may not only leave many adolescents and young adults with a weak sense of personal inefficacy in scientific disciplines, but also leave them with a more general sense of low personal efficacy in virtually any domain of learning. Since self-directed learning (SDL) is largely rooted in self-evaluative processes, the validity of knowledge acquired by means of SDL can be seen as problematic for both the learners themselves and their interlocutors. With respect to the problem of knowledge validity, various modes of scientific thinking, such as the phenomenological approach or Popper's (1935) criterion of falsifiability, can be seen as relevant tools for the self-directed evaluation of acquired knowledge and its value. In order to enhance efforts at promoting SDSL, this chapter aims to relate a number of personal experiences in the field. These experiences go back to when I first began working as a facilitator and continue to the present time. Currently, I work more in the areas of project management and educational research. Five "dimensions" of these experiences will be discussed: 1. How the idea came about of setting up a guidance center as a new framework for long-term self-directed science and technology projects. 2. An explanation of the link between such a guidance center and the pursuit of science and technology literacy goals. 3. How the divide between leisure and work time impacts the guidance center and raises the question of learning from a lifelong learning perspective. 4. An answer to the question of whether French Culture Scientifique, Technique et Industrielle stakeholders (henceforth CSTI stakeholders) share in the belief that there is a connection between long-term SDSL counseling and their own goals. 5. How we can describe the different CSTI stakeholders' views as regards SDSL.
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hal-00864404 , version 1 (21-09-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00864404 , version 1


Olivier Las Vergnas. Promoting Self-Directed Science Learning for All: Beyond the Scientist/Nonscientist Social Divide. Hiemstra Roger & Carré Philippe. A Feast of Learning, International Perspectives on Adult Learning and Change, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, USA, pp.101-107, 2013, 978-1-62396-373-6. ⟨hal-00864404⟩
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