Heutagogy Community of Practice

Advancing the Theory and Practice of Self-Determined Learning


Please join our LinkedIn Group to participate in our discussions about heutagogy.

37 comments on “Conversations

  1. Alyshia Ferri
    February 16, 2013

    I am so glad I came across this website! I have only recently learned of heutagogy, but the theory really speaks to me. I’m currently developing a professional development website for ESL instructors for my MA thesis project. A heutagogical approach to professional development is my aim. Looking forward to participating in the discussions here! How wonderful.

    • copheutagogy
      February 16, 2013

      Alyshia -We are so glad you’ve joined us too — what an interesting project you’re doing! We’d love to hear more about how you’ll apply heutagogical principles to its design.

      If you’ve not done so already, please feel free to start or join a conversation in our LinkedIn group! Welcome! ~Melanie

  2. Luke Fitzpatrick
    February 22, 2013

    Thanks Stewart for sending me the link to this site. I am currently completing my masters degree through UNE and have just completed their school of business subject titled Processes of Management. At first thought I was under the impression that it was going to be the normal course content delivered by webinar and powerpoint telling us about various forms of management processes. How wrong I was, I thoroughly enjoyed the subject as it very much took the approach of guiding us the students through a process of understanding ‘becoming’ a manager and how this process never really ends, it highlighted a number a methods of self reflection, the importance of relationships etc but never really asked us to answer a question related to a forced piece of text. The subject was very much about guiding us, and assessing our progress as we documented our journey of understanding. It was great and opened my mind to so many things. I have a passion for exploring the cross cultural dimensions to leadership and plan to commence my PhD in this area in the next year or so, hence I find this site particuarly interesting, and look forward to future discussions.

  3. Stewart Hase
    March 23, 2013

    Hi Luke, great to see you on the site. Some of the concepts that underpin heutagogy apply to management. Perhaps you might let me bore you sometime with some recent neuroscience that is particularly pertinent that explains some interesting human behaviour and that supports heutagogy

    • Luke Fitzpatrick
      July 22, 2013

      I doubt it will be boring Stewart, I look forward to it. Perhaps over email, a coffee or while casting a line.

  4. Cheryl Tyiska
    March 31, 2013

    Hello. I am very pleased that my instructor, Lisa Blaschke, provided information about this blog and about heutagogy. I am just learning about it and have just started reading about it at a basic level. My question is: is there any essential difference between heutagogy and auto-didactism? Is a heutagogical approach more structured, more defined, or more “documentable” than simply being an auto-didact by choice? I am sure this is a naive question, but I am trying to fix this concept in my brain. Thanks, Cheryl

    • copheutagogy
      March 31, 2013

      Hello Cheryl,
      Welcome to the Community of Practice! Would you mind posting your great question in the Discussions, which are housed in a LinkedIn group. See the top of this Conversations page of this site for how to join.
      Then we can all discuss it! 🙂

  5. lisamarieblaschke
    April 3, 2013

    Hi Cheryl,
    Great to see you here…and great question! As Melanie said, we hope you will post it at the LinkedIn HeutagogyCoP site. Here is the link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Heutagogy-Community-Practice-4776262

  6. alison
    April 24, 2013

    Glad to find you all here! I don’t use LinkedIn, so am hoping there are alternate spaces for discussions (G+ community?)? I’m on Twitter and G+. 🙂

  7. Tom Haymes at http://www.nmc.org/news/unbound-observations-structure-class/ talks about how he experimented with group work, collaborative assessment and self-directed learning in his class. He paints a picture that shows that the students were clearly not ready for this more heutagogical approach to learning, contrary to accepted dogma.

    In our (Chris Kenyon and I) forthcoming book on heutagogy (Bloomsbury, Sept) Barbara Brandt, a student who encountered heutagogy while a tertiary student, makes some interesting points.

    She talks about how she knew how to ‘do student’. That is being a passive recipient of what is dished out, submissive (giving the teacher what they wanted), disengaged and so on. She says that she knew how to play the game and it was comfortable. Meeting a teacher who did things differently was discomforting. The merry dance that she knew no longer applied and she didn’t know the steps. It was uncomfortable and difficult. What was this new game?

    After the experience she finds going back to teacher-directed learning is now a chore and not exiting.

    The point here is that it takes time to get the students into self-determined (or even self-directed) mode in formal education settings. They do it fine in the non-formal but it is a question of expectation, which is a powerful psychological phenomenon.

    The answer is: persist and mimic those ways in which we learn in non-formal settings.

    • Luke Fitzpatrick
      July 22, 2013

      Hello Stewart

      I can relate to this. From 2003 to 2008 I completed a BProfSt by distance through UNE, I struggled for the first year or so. My struggles were almost in reverse, I tried to research, form opinion, challenge, and learn for the text and the lecturers, but very clearly found that if I did not provide the answers which they expected in the essays then my marks were quite low. However once I swallowed my pride and simply regurgitated what they wanted my marks rocketed. It was very easy, go to the subject forum, pick the key words, record the lecturers discussion focus and regurgitate!
      This changed massively when I commenced my MLead, suddenly I was given the opportunity to find my own way and the lecturers where far more interested in the journey involved in my research and essays rather than my ability to regurgitate text.
      I am nearly at the end of the MLead and keen to keep going into higher research. There is still some lecturers who for some reason or another want regurgitation, I am not sure if it is just being lazy or some other reason.
      I still consider myself to be quite young and have found myself in ‘management / leadership positions’ in various workplaces with the ability to recruit new staff. I mention this as I can link my preference for learning as a ‘journey’ to the type of people I like to work with and recruit! People who regurgitate are great if they have little influence and a narrow scope, but I prefer people who think, journey, challenge, and are always looking well beyond the ‘box’. Sadly the majority of senior managers I have worked for in the past don’t agree and seem to get upset at the young single girl with a child and tattoos whom i have recruited who challenges their thinking!!!

  8. Thanks for the reply Luke and most apt. I like to give academics the benefit of the doubt and assume that they just don’t know anything about learning. There is no training to do so in academe (I was an academic for 25 years)-all one needs to teach is an academic discipline.

    Would you like to turn your little case study into a blog for this site? It would be great.

  9. Luke Fitzpatrick
    July 22, 2013

    Would live to, if I new how?

  10. copheutagogy
    July 23, 2013

    Hi Luke, This page has directions for how to submit something:

    We’d love to have you contribute!

  11. Luke asked me on Twitter about the relationship between heutagogy and competence. A great question and something I’ve written and pondered about for a while. One of the areas I have been interested in and it directly led to heutagogy was the notion of capability. It’s broad definition is the capacity to use competencies in novel as well as familiar circumstances. In effect competencies are really about past rather than future performance. But I digress slightly.

    Like capability self-determined learning (heutagogy) principles does not mean that people do not become competent (ie acquire knowledge and skills) in whatever it is that they are learning. Competence are minimal standards of accomplishment and are critical. It is the way in which they are acquired which concerns heutagogy.

    One of my favourite stories is told in a paper I wrote a couple of years ago about using heutagogy in training programs and which I use a lot in presentations about learning. Let’s say you want a bunch of people to become competent in, say, using a new piece of fire fighting equipment. The traditional method would be to go through the manual, talk about principles, show a few slides, talk about risks and other factors, then demonstrate and then practice. The heutagogy way (very broadly speaking but you’ll get the drift) is to put the manual on the equipment parked outside the door and leave the group to it. You hang around making sure nothing bad happens and act as a resource, if asked, but only to direct rather than teach. Some will read the manual and some will play. In no time at all they’ll have it worked out. Then you can get them together and talk about it. People will demonstrate their competence, guided by the check list of competencies you gave them. Mostly they will teach each other.

    So, it’s the process not the content with which heutagogy is concerned. I think that most curriculum focuses much too much on content.

    I hope that answers your question Luke, but let’s talk some more.


    • Luke Fitzpatrick
      August 1, 2013

      Hello Stewart

      This certainly makes a lot of sense for me, and also makes for great conversation with my wife who is a secondary school teacher. Both of her parents are teacher aides in local high schools, so I found it interesting to bring the subject up with them. In some cases the conversation actually resulted in heated debate, which of course I love with my mother in law !!

      While we all agreed on the benefits of heutagogy Gen’s parents in particular found it very hard to grasp in a secondary school setting. This then led into a wider conversation about Australian society as a whole and a great many comparisons to Japanese cultures and a few others which are passions of my in laws.

      In short they did not believe heutagogy techniques would be possible with some high school students due to overall behavioural issues. This is what led to further conversations about wider society issues. With some comments being “why do Asian students come to Australia, perform so well and are so dedicated to study and working also?”

      I think this is a good example of how influential the educational culture of a society is on the wider aspects of that society as a whole, and as you say ‘unlearning what you have learnt’ is the hardest part, but perhaps we should not be learning in the current ways to start with.

      Of course at this point the options for which way the conversation could go were endless, so many offshoots and complexities to work through but it was exciting to talk about none the less.


  12. Thanks for your reply Luke. Perhaps some reading would be useful in which these issues are covered. In particular heutagogy is an alternative to traditional educational approaches that are now being challenged. There is a great book by Ackoff and Greenberg, Turning learning right side up (2008). And some of our articles on heutagogy cover these issues. One simple example is the Flipped Classroom that is being used in the UK a fair bit. This involves students covering content outside the classroom and then discussing it and doing things with it within the class. Whole new way of looking at things. There are others.


  13. Denis O'Brien
    August 8, 2013


    Back in the early 80’s I was asked to give a lecture to some Police Chief Inspectors (of Communications) during their Training Course. I said ‘Hello’ and asked each of them to answer three open ended questions. 1. A bad Control Room Is … , 2. A Good Control Room is … , 3. If I was improving my Control Room I would … . I then asked them to read out their answers to each question one at a time ie all the 1’s, all the 2’s, all the 3’s. Towards the end of the feedback some bright spark shouted out … “Whose giving this lecture: you or us”!! Magic.

    My Mother once said to me that All I did was deal with Common Sense: to which I replied, Yes Mother but Common Sense is not that ‘Common’.

    The role of the person in charge of learning is to share all forms of ‘knowledge’ and how you share it is crucial to effective learning, understanding and insight formation.

    I always use (tiered: like the 3 above) Open Ended Questions completed in silence but shared by everyone: this gives the shy the same percentage of air time and the more talkative and reveals more reflective thoughts and insights. And, the feedback can be typed up afterwards!

    Luke, I also use the same ‘detective’ processes ( I call my method: ERS Explore, Represent: Share) that Stewart talked about above … in some cases with life changing results.

    Enjoy your Heutagogic Journey: it’s great to be on it with you.


  14. stewarthase
    September 18, 2013

    Hi Dennis, love your questioning technique.


  15. Phil Rutherford
    October 7, 2013


    I was interested in your comments concerning competence vs capability. Many years ago, when Professor Stephenson was first asked to come to Australia and work with the university on this subject, I was regularly invited to speak at conferences where I put another view on this subject. I knew Professor Stephenson’s work from my time in the UK introducing the NVQ system into England and Wales (Scotland had its own, similar, system). I knew also that an area where we agreed was the need to get the terms competence and capability out of the education lexicon and into the real world where it was of greatest importance – that is, the workplace where such competence or capability were to be applied. For it is only in this realm that these terms have any real meaning.

    My argument was that competence as a terms is applied to current ability – that is, one’s current ability to apply skills and knowledge in line with workplace needs. Capability, on the other hand, was one’s (current) ability to apply one’s skills and knowledge in line with future workplace needs.

    Now, there are two futures: That which we can see and make some assumptions about, and that which we cannot see and is unknown to varying degrees. It is therefore understandable that we, as educators, can only facilitate the gaining of skills and knowledge for a future that is known. But, insofar as the unknown (but knowable) future is concerned, that is a matter for the learner. Therefore capability must include a different approach to facilitating learning, including what you are calling heutagogy – the ability to learn what one doesn’t know, evaluate it against what one does know, and bridge the gap in between.

    However, and there is always a ‘however, the example you gave concerning a new way of learning about how to use fire fighting equipment, is similar to that used as far back as the 1980s when the term ‘facilitation’ was all the rage. It was a difficult concept to apply in the real world then and I’m not so sure it has changed much since.

    I remember attending a weekend workshop on facilitation some time in 1987/88. Participants came from all around Australia and we checked into the accommodation on the Friday evening, met together for dinner to try and determine what was going on (there was no agenda or instructions), and decided to meet later in the venue set aside for us.

    Later that evening we gathered in the venue and arranged the seats in a circle, whereupon we sat and looked at each other. After about an hour of small talk and no progress one of the group (few of us knew each other) spoke up saying he was the facilitator and it was clear that there needed to be some direction in order to get the weekend underway.

    In terms of following this idea for the entire program, the weekend was a complete failure. We could not develop our own learning objectives or agenda because we didn’t know what we didn’t know. And nor did we know what we needed to know in order to be competent ‘facilitators’. In fact, nobody told us that we weren’t already adequate facilitators so we had no idea of how to bridge the gap – or even how big the gap was – between where our knowledge currently was and where it needed to be.

    I am sure some people might eventually figure out for themselves how to use a fire extinguisher, but unless they are guided across the bridge between what they already know and what they must know in order to competently apply the equipment where and when they might need to, would we really feel comfortable having to rely on such a person to extinguish a fire for us?

    Finally, this discussion reminds me of a story I read many years ago in a journal of the American Society for Training and Development. It concerned a professional educator who specialised in teaching others how to ‘facilitate’ learning. In this article he wrote that he had received a letter from a former student who said that after attending a workshop on facilitation he went back to his workplace committed to applying the recently learned principles and theories. He learned that such principles might be fine but there are exceptions – especially as on his first attempt to apply them he asked the group of workers what they wanted to do during their workshop. After a period of silence one worker evidently piped up saying “I would like to play cards!”. Not knowing anything but how to let the learners set their own objectives and agenda, he let them.

    Capability-based training and education is more than leaving it up to the learners to figure out what they need to do. There must always be some guidance, even if it is into the darkened space of the unknown.

    • Stewart Hase
      October 8, 2013

      Hi Phil. Thanks for the comments. I’m certainly not suggesting that much of what I’m saying is new even though Gordon’s the message has fallen on stony ground. What we have tried to do is find a way of putting together a set of ideas under one concept. This includes the rather compelling neuroscience which is being ignored by most.

      Nor am I suggesting that learning becomes a free for all. I cover this in a few papers and it came up in a conference in NZ last week. There needs to be a framework and a curriculum. But we need to look at process and how people learn. And the curriculum needs to be flexible to enable the learner’s new perspective to take shape. You may be interested in my paper on learner designed curriculum and a chapter in our new book on the same-I talk about how to do heutagogy without it descending into anarchy. I can send you both if you are interested. I use heutagogy principles now in all my workshops and it has been wonderful. Just need a new set of skills.

      In fact that is a great idea for a new blog post.

      Finally, what I am advocating is that we get rid of the word teacher from the lexicon and only ever talk abut learning.

      I hope we can continue the discussion.

      • Stewart Hase
        October 8, 2013

        Hi again, not sure how Gordon’s got in there. These touch screens are a nightmare

  16. Stewart Hase (@stewarthase)
    December 19, 2013

    Flipped Classrooms and Flipped Assessment: Some are Missing the Point

    A recent report in Inside Higher Education concerning flipped classrooms had me rushing to the keyboard in a state of high agitation. It stated that lecturers were finding the workload in using this technique to be onerous. Apparently what some (maybe a lot, the article didn’t say) have been doing is videoing their lectures or otherwise preparing content for students in preparation for the flipped classroom.

    This is where I want to start shouting by using capital letters, bold font and italics, and all sorts of expletives, probably not fit for public use. What I want to shout out loud is, that if you are doing this,

    ‘You’re missing the point’.

    Your students are very competent learners. When you’re not around, and that is most of the time, they are learning from each other, the library, books, and from the multiple sources that can be found on the Internet. You’ve probably heard of this latter thing, it’s where we all find just about any information we need these days. When and where we want.

    Your job is to point them in the right direction to go where to look. You provide the GPS coordinates and they will go find it. For many subjects you should be able to do this in a flash if you are on top of your game. And you can update the list every year in a few moments.

    Your other job is to use the flipped classroom to make sure that they are on track, that they are sorting wheat from chaff, that they are researching well, that they are looking in the right spots and being diligent problems solvers. When they leave your care and immerse themselves in their profession, this is what they will do as a matter of course. I don’t know about you but I find it hard to keep up with all the advances in my field and remembering everything is almost impossible. But I don’t have to. The content is at my fingertips.

    We live in an age where we don’t need to speak content to our learners. We need to help them seek and then use information.

    The report also ended by suggesting that what we need is a bibliography that goes with the flipped classroom technique, and presumably all other educational innovations. Agreed, that we need more research, but there is substantive evidence for many non-didactic approaches to learning, and against the very idea of a lecture.

    Much of the bibliography is found in recent neuroscience that describes quite nicely how it is that people learn. And what it reveals is that most of the assumptions underpinning current educational practice, particularly didactic teaching, is deeply flawed. You can read a summary of this if you look up heutagogy or self-determined learning or contact me and I’ll provide it (stewart.hase@gmail.com). Chapter 2 in our recent book, ‘Self-determined learning: Heutagogy in practice’ covers the area nicely. Some other articles on heutagogy do that too.

    The flipped classroom is a great example of understanding how people do in fact learn that, thank heavens, has found a large number of proponents willing to experiment.

    As well as the neuroscience research, a robust body of other research has shown that didactic teaching methods do not enable learning. Mostly they are a convenience for lecturers and are a throwback to the advent of the industrial revolution. If you’d like to check this, do a search on Google Scholar or ERIC about didactic teaching and see what you find.

    Let me save you frantic and worn out lecturers some more time. Instead of teaching students to write essays, which is what universities seem to do most and best of all, change the way you assess. The flipped classroom gives you the opportunity to assess the learning ability of your students in preparing for their sessions. You can also assess their ability to problem solve, think, evaluate, analyse, ask questions, and apply while they are in front of you. These are the higher order abilities on the Bloom’s Taxonomy. Forget the summative assessment-waste of time. This is the ‘Flipped Assessment’.

    What we need are competent learners and the cognitively agile. Not people who can simply regurgitate knowledge.

    Of course you want them to be competent and to access a body of knowledge. No problem, this can be done too. I can assure you that having students write a paper at the end of semester does not mean they are on top of their subject.

    All this demonstrates to me is that academics in the higher education sector need to spend some time researching what they do for much of their time: and that is learning. Yes, as well as researching the area that they work in and love. Either that or they should stop being responsible for the learning of the next generation of professionals.

  17. Peter Rawsthorne
    December 20, 2013

    Totally agree with the “missing the point”… we need self-determined learning approaches to be baked into later high-school and all HE… I also think we need to explore new approaches to assessment; http://criticaltechnology.blogspot.ca/2013/02/flipping-assessment.html

  18. Geoff Cox
    December 20, 2013

    Hello Stewart, thanks for this posting – I think that we are often at our best when we feel the need to get things off our chests!

    Thanks also for introducing the necessity for the bit of joined-up thinking that you call ‘Flipped Assessment’ I absolutely endorse this as a necessary consideration in any move away from didactic pedagogies and towards an approach that more resembles heutagogy. My concern is that a great many professionals working in formal education simply do not have the time, understanding, nor the tools and methodologies, that they would need to undertake such assessment. I acknowledge your advocation that they should dedicate themselves to researching what we currently know about learning, but that would still leave them needing to develop a whole set of assessment tools and priorities through which they could apply their newly-researched understanding.

    There are significant differences between assessing the acquisition and regurgitation of knowledge, and assessing the abilities that you describe as indicating that students are ‘competent learners’ and ’cognitively agile’ : and it is these differences that I would suggest as demonstrating the need for new assessment tools. A couple of the more obvious differences are:

    1)the competences we need to measure are both varied and contextually specific, so a single assessment episode may not provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate them, nor the assessor to witness them.

    2)the competences include those which are demonstrated through interpersonal transactions which must be observed and interpreted. The presence of an assessor during these interactions may predicate against authentic behaviours being demonstrated.

    In combination these observations suggest the need for a more longitudinal approach to assessing the development of the competencies and capabilities involved. Practically that also seems to suggest that the educators concerned move to a continuous assessment approach. In my experience the immediate reaction of HE professionals to any suggestion of a move towards assessing in this way will be an immediate assumption that it will place unacceptable demands on faculty time. However I would hope that this approach would be in any case resisted by anybody who understands what we are aiming to achieve here, in that it would severely erode the time they have available for the coaching students’ acquisition of a whole new, independent-learning skill set.

    I’ve been working on these issues for some time now, and my current thinking is along the lines of “Why don’t we introduce well structured peer-assessment tools, with a complementary emphasis on the development of metacognitive awareness, supported by quality coaching in observation, feedback and peer-support networks into the student body?” Here’s an example of how this looks in practice:
    Over the duration of their studies the students rotate through the observer role (perhaps two days every term?) during which time they monitor and record the current performance level of a small group of peers during a collaborative learning session. The role of the educator in this is to work closely with the observers to develop their skills in performing this role, encouraging observers to reflect on their own development in these areas, and to quality check that the results being recorded are an accurate representation of what has been observed. In practice the day-to-day work of the educator is heavily oriented towards the learner-support activities that are characteristic of the flipped classroom, with the additional benefit that students get specific support in developing their skills in observing, interpreting and appropriately responding to behaviour patterns (highly valued in employability situations).The results are presented as a longitudinal study so that each student has a representation of how they are developing in social learning contexts, and how their independent learning efforts are being applied in team based learning situations.

    Stewart, I don’t know whether this brief description is congruent with the (obviously) strong feelings that provoked your posting? Or if it’s a step too far? I’d be happy to share more details of the tools I’m developing and deploying. Personally I believe that, if undertaken, a move towards heutagogy needs to be comprehensive, and this demands that our approaches to assessment need to be included in the shift.

  19. Stewart Hase (@stewarthase)
    December 20, 2013

    Having a chat with Geoff Cox about heutagogy made me think about the reluctance of academics in the higher education sector to use learning practices that actually work. More to the point why do they persist with using methods that don’t.

    The obvious issue, of course, is that they are not trained or competent to facilitate learning. But this is not the point I want to make.

    I’d like to take a stab in the dark and assume that an engineer or medical lecturer, for example, would not tell students to undertake practices that clearly don’t work and that would result in buildings falling down and patients getting sicker. I’d even guess that they’d not tell their students to engage in these practices to save time and effort.

    So, why can academics use the same argument about their facilitation of learning? Academics are foremost scientists. They should apply the same rigorous thought to what they spend a great deal of their time doing-helping people learn.

    The answer is that they can get away with it because the quality systems that govern universities are poor when it comes to learning. Great for research but not learning.

    You’ll note that I have not used the term teaching at all here. I want to get rid of this word from our lexicon because of all that it implies-passive learners, teacher-centred, show and tell, power being shifted away from the learner.

  20. kim
    December 23, 2013

    I agree completely and wish more people were talking the way you are… Check out Seth Godin on educational reform in the us on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNP0zlIWIHA, interesting perspective.

  21. Stewart Hase (@stewarthase)
    January 23, 2014

    There is a concern in the higher education sector in general about cheating on assignments. This has been a problem for a while and we have all sorts of clever technologies to catch the cheats. But copying of assignments and proxies is a continued problem.

    Perhaps part of the problem is that assignments are a ridiculous concept. As I’ve been wont to say previously one of the key competencies that universities and like institutions is writing assignments. So much so that the assignment itself has become the measure not the content. Nonetheless, it can be safely said that being able to write an assignment/report/essay/whatever is a major life skill that everyone needs in order to survive in the harsh work-a-day world. NOT!

    How about if we gave up assignment writing as our major way of assessing achievement? How about if we used other ways such as those described at: http://www.slideshare.net/DrStewartHase/flipped-assessment for example. There are myriad ways for students to demonstrate their learning that does not require writing assignments, getting the reference right, and keeping to the word limit. Mostly we could assess their ability to sift the wheat from the chaff, synthesis and analysis, rather than simply understanding, which is the best that assignments will achieve.

    And to stop the capacity to cheat.

  22. Es El Es
    October 7, 2014

    Hello. I am Suhana. I am so glad that to find a discussion group on Heutagogy. currently, I am planning to do a research on Heutagogy for my M.Ed.
    I would like to know, is there any instrument/ tool to measure Heutagogy in practice? Thanks.

  23. Stewart Hase
    October 24, 2014

    Reflections on My Visit to St Paul’s School in Brisbane

    I was hosted by Jon Andrews, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, at St Paul’s School in Brisbane yesterday where they are implementing elements of Self-determined learning in the junior school.

    It was a amazing to meet a group of very excited, enthusiastic and innovative teachers. I was enthralled at their stories of how their students had become more independent learners controlling both the process and the content of their learning. Students who could talk about iterative learning, reflection and who could critique what they were doing.

    Of particular fascination was the use of project-based learning in which students took control of both project management and the project itself. Finally, presenting their work to parents and other adults with the teacher acting only as a guide on the periphery, Teachers told me too about their use of inquiry-based learning, metacognition, reflective processes in the classroom and how to understand the role of cognition, and brain function in how learners understand the context of their learning.

    So, here we had children up to the age of 8 or 9 taking control of their learning in true heutagogical fashion-doing what comes naturally, So, the teachers are breaking the boundaries that traditionally separate disciplines, focusing on process rather than content but still achieving the curriculum outcomes, guiding learning, engendering creativity, and enabling mistakes to be a means to learning. It was exciting to see self-determined learning in action.

    Most of all the students are learning to be competent learners and related skills that prepare them for life in the 21st century.

    And what has enabled this?

    Insightful, transformational and courageous leadership . Team building, trust and not being afraid to hire people who think outside the box and are smart. Risk taking and resilience, participative democracy, valuing people, role modeling, and patience.

    How do they know its working? Well, apart from watching and recording student progress, their greatest feedback is from parents. These potentially harsh critics tell the teachers at their ‘celebration’ events of the change in their children, or how excited they are about their learning when they come home and how impressed they are when they watch their children present.

    This was a wonderful visit to a wonderful school. Please invite me back.

  24. Stewart Hase
    November 28, 2014

    The latest book on heutagogy, ‘Experiences in Self Determined Learning’ is available at Amazon US, UK and Europe. Wait until Dec 9 to get the revised Kindle version which is reformatted.

    17 chapters from people who have used heutagogy from around the world. A great read.

  25. Stewart Hase
    December 9, 2014

    Blaschke, L. & Hase, S. (2014). Heutagogy, technology and lifelong learning for professional and part-time learners in A. Dailey-Herbert & K.S. Dennis (eds.), Transformative perspectives and processes in higher education. New York: Springer

  26. Stewart Hase
    December 24, 2014

    Both our books on heutagogy are now available for electronic download at:


  27. psw260259
    January 23, 2015

    Hello All
    I have just come across this site as part of my research into heutagogy for my dissertation for my BA Hons. My research title is Is there a place for heutagogy within the pedagogy of Early Years Practice’

    Within my own practice (I am a registered childminder) I believe there is and certainly self directed learning is very much part of my ethos and practice with the under 5’s that I care for.

    I am looking forward to exploring this subject, and would be interested to hear from anyone else who supports self directed learnig / heutagogy with young children

  28. defstef98
    June 23, 2015

    Just a silly question here: wouldn’t it better to host the discussion instead of having it on Linkedin?

  29. Peter Hutton
    September 26, 2016

    Hi All
    We are a quite innovative secondary school in Victoria Australia, called Templestowe College or TC. We just stumbled across this site but plan to start a Heutagogy Centre in 2017 for selected students…. Well self selected actually. They will have a supervisor in a similar way to the higher ed model and will essentially work on a series of self directed concurrent projects. TC already has no year levels in the 800 strong school and students select their own electives from more than 150 electives. Oh yes. And we have a Montessori stream as well. Great to make contact.
    Peter Hutton
    Co Principal

  30. Joseph
    February 10, 2017

    Hi, I am just new to Heutagogy and happy to be here. A colleague is undertaking a study on “Application of Heutagogical Approach in Adult Literacy programmes for Human Resources Development of Fulani Pastoralist in Gombe State” What approach do I advise her to use? Thank you

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