Heutagogy Community of Practice

Advancing the Theory and Practice of Self-Determined Learning

What Is Heutagogy?

“Heutagogy is the study of self-determined learning … It is also an attempt to challenge some ideas about teaching and learning that still prevail in teacher centred learning and the need for, as Bill Ford (1997) eloquently puts it ‘knowledge sharing’ rather than ‘knowledge hoarding’. In this respect heutagogy looks to the future in which knowing how to learn will be a fundamental skill given the pace of innovation and the changing structure of communities and workplaces.”

Hase, S. and Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. Ultibase, RMIT.  http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/dec00/hase2.htm


In self-determined learning, it is important that learners acquire both competencies and capabilities (Stephenson, 1994 as cited in McAuliffe et al., 2008, p. 3; Hase & Kenyon, 2000, 2007). Competency can be understood as proven ability in acquiring knowledge and skills, while capability is characterized by learner confidence in his or her competency and, as a result, the ability “to take appropriate and effective action to formulate and solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar and changing settings” (Cairns, 2000, p. 1, as cited in Gardner, Hase, Gardner, Dunn, & Carryer, 2007, p. 252). Capable people exhibit the following traits:

  • self-efficacy, in knowing how to learn and continuously reflect on the learning process;
  • communication and teamwork skills, working well with others and being openly communicative;
  • creativity, particularly in applying competencies to new and unfamiliar situations and by being adaptable and flexible in approach;
  • positive values (Hase & Kenyon, 2000; Kenyon & Hase, 2010; Gardner et al., 2007).

Blaschke, L.M. (2012). Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(1), 56-71. Retrieved from: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1076/2113

43 comments on “What Is Heutagogy?

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  7. Suhana Sarkawi
    October 11, 2014

    When I search on the net for self-determined learning, i have always been redirected to self-determination theory. Is there a barrier or significant difference between heutagogy and motivation or self-directed learning and self-determination theory? Thanks.

    • Stewart Hase
      October 30, 2014

      Great question Suhana. Self-determination theory largely concerns motivation. Self-determined learning is more concerned with how people learn. It was not derived from self-determination theory but both have roots in the notion of human agency.

      If you want more information that is easy to access we have curated a lot of heutagogy articles, talks, presentations at: http://bibblio.org/u/The%20Heutagogy%20Collection/collections

      Please feel free to email me at stewart.hase@gmail.com if you’d like to talk more.


      • Suhana Sarkawi
        February 11, 2016

        Is it regarded as a theory or an approach to learning?

      • Tineke Kleene
        December 13, 2017

        The link to the articles does not work

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  13. Lee-ann Pierre
    April 24, 2015

    I have an essay to complete on whether heutagogy and connectivism are close relatives. My take on it is that heutagogy is an approach which characterizes or typifies connectivism and connectivism gives tangible form to the main attributes of heutagogy. It is almost like connectivism easily facilitates self-directed learning. Looking for some discussion to flesh out my ideas or to hear some thoughts on this perspective.

    • Karen
      November 14, 2015

      My thought exactly. Connectivism as the process of heutagogy.

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  23. lizhannaford
    March 10, 2016

    You use a secondary citation here of Bill Ford (1997) talking about knowledge sharing rather than knowledge hoarding. But I can find no reference anywhere to this quote. Certainly, HAse and Kenyon in which it appears doesn’t include him in their list of references. Can anybody tell me where the Bill Ford quote comes from? Cheers.

  24. 4c3d
    March 16, 2016

    My self directed learning journey and experience as a teacher has led me to for a concept I call “Learning Intelligence”(LQ). In many ways it is a narrative for our ideas and experiences of learning. I define it as the ability of the learner to manage their own learning environment to meet their learning needs. LQ consists of a set of skills attributes, attitudes and behaviours that I believe we can develop. An introduction is available but there are nearly 40 articles in all covering the teaching and learning aspects of LQ on the blog. http://wp.me/p2LphS-3p
    and at http://wp.me/p2LphS-oW

    I look forward to any questions or comments.

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  27. pamelamclean
    September 26, 2016

    Introduction – Like “4c3d” I contribute from the perspective of my own “self directed learning journey and experience as a teacher “. My input draws on experience of early years (from the three perspectives of mother, pre-school playgroup leader and infant teacher) and from my own experience as an adult self-directed learner, which I wrote about in Teaching and Learning Online – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Learning-Online-Models-Connected/dp/0415528577

    I’ll also frame my comments through reference to the Picasso quote “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/pablo_picasso.html

    In my experience we do not need to teach children to be creative, nor do we need to teach them to learn. They are naturally creative, problem-solving, self-directed learners. What we have to do in the “education system” is to provide them with the opportunities to continue learning.

    Much of the desk-bound “learning” that we impose on children robs them of the time and opportunity to learn for themselves.

    I over-simplify here but basically the children need a rich environment of “first hand experience” and “second hand experience” and they need the skills (such as reading) in order to access the “second hand experience”. The more that these skills can be taught/learned/discovered in ways that make sense to the child (“learning to some purpose”) the better. Anyone with eyes to see and an appreciation of cognitive development and creativity can see, and marvel at, the way that young children construct their own opportunities to “learn by playing” . They work at it almost every waking moment given the chance.

    Ideally the role of the teacher is to provide the enabling environment (rich opportunities for first-hand and second-hand experience, plus support for skill development) and to be aware of the “learning journey” of each child.

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