Heutagogy (based on the Greek for “self”) was defined by Hase and Kenyon in 2000 as the study of self-determined learning.
Anthropogogy: The study of human learning
(Greek) – Anthrop (άνθρωπ) means human and Agy (άγω) means to conduct / lead.
Heutagogy applies a holistic approach to developing learner capabilities, with learning as an active and proactive process, and learners serving as “the major agent in their own learning, which occurs as a result of personal experiences” (Hase & Kenyon, 2007, p. 112). Nir Golan, an educational and leadership expert, suggests combining the terms Pedagogy (child learning) and Androgogy (male / adult), into one term, Anthropogogy: to mean human learning. Teaching should be carried out alongside the comprehensive development of the human being regardless of his/her biological age. As in an andragogical approach, in heutagogy the instructor also facilitates the learning process by providing guidance and resources, but fully relinquishes ownership of the learning path and process to the learner, who negotiates learning and determines what will be learned and how it will be learned (Hase & Kenyon, 2000; Eberle, 2009).
According to Golan, Anthropogogy has four basic principles:
1. The independent learner: the perception of oneself as an independent entity. A person sees him/herself as someone who is self-directed; choosing what to learn, how much and how to learn it. The role of the teacher is not to give ready answers to predetermined questions, but to help the learner find out for him/herself what the important questions are and how to answer them. Through these questions, the dependence – independence conflict will decrease and there will be fewer objections to learning.
A heutagogical approach to learning and teaching is characterized first and foremost by learner-centeredness in terms of both learner-generated contexts and content. Learner-directed questions: Learner-directed questions and the discussion that results from these questions are what guide learners and serve as mechanisms for helping learners make sense of course content, bring clarity to ideas, and promote individual and group reflection (Kenyon & Hase, 2001; Eberle, 2009). Guiding learners to define self-directed questions is one of the biggest challenges facing developers of heutagogical courses, as designers must be “creative enough to have learners ask questions about the universe they inhabit” (Kenyon & Hase, 2001, para. 29).
2. Adapting learning to that person's needs: the person is ready to learn when he/she needs that specific learning process, and it is incorporated into daily tasks and social functioning. He/she sees that the learning process serves his/her personal development.
Since every person has their own characteristics and needs, therefore, the most effective way of learning is to adapt learning to the needs and characteristics of that individual person with reference to their emotional and mental components, and not only to cognitive and behavioral aspects.
A key concept in heutagogy is that of double-loop learning and self-reflection (Argyris & Schön, 1996, as cited in Hase & Kenyon, 2000). In double-loop learning, learners consider the problem and the resulting action and outcomes, in addition to reflecting upon the problem-solving process and how it influences the learner’s own beliefs and actions. Double-loop learning occurs when learners “question and test one’s personal values and assumptions as being central to enhancing learning how to learn” (Argyris & Schön, 1978, as cited in Hase, 2009, pp. 45-46).
3. Renovating learning: In the digital age where there is widespread availability of network information, learning should give news and added value to the learner.
People approach learning in possession of their life experiences. For learning to be more significant, the learner needs to connect the current learning knowledge with his/her prior knowledge. As such, educators have to find out the prior knowledge of the person and his/her previous experiences in order to connect it to the learning experience and not teach him/her things they already know. Thus the person who teaches should renovate learning.
Heutagogy’s holistic approach takes into account the learner’s prior learning experiences and the way in which these influence how she or he learns; by considering these past experiences and the learner’s current experience and reflecting upon these, the learner moves into a growth process that has the potential to lead to transformative learning – a process described by Canning and Callan (2010) as “spirals of reflection” (p. 71). The following course design elements can be incorporated to support reflective practice.
4. Immediate and practical learning: The main motive for human learning is for problem solving. The learner has a need for the immediate application of the learned material, so learning has to be more focused in giving solutions to the particular problem. Learning which cannot be implemented immediately is perceived as a waste of time.
The differences between the two approaches:
Heutagogy: learning as an active and proactive process, and learners serving as “the major agent in their own learning, which occurs as a result of personal experiences". Hase & Kenyon (2007)
Anthropogogy: Leading a person (regardless of age) throughout significant learning towards behavioral change that can be implemented immediately. Golan (2014)
In heutagogy, learner-defined learning contracts: Learning contracts support students in defining and determining their individual learning paths. These individualized contracts. Flexible curriculum: In a self-determined learning environment, the learner is the driver in creating flexible curriculum, which is defined by the student. Learners negotiate “how, when, where and to what upper (rather than minimal) level they want to take their learning” (Hase, 2009, p. 47).
The significant learning model provides tools for the teacher to assimilate the Anthropogogy approach in six steps, throughout which the teacher uses dialogue in order to guide the learner.
The six steps are:
1. Action- doing
2. Behavior- conceptualization of the action
3. Norm- transformation of the behavior to a norm
4. Value- defining the value in the behavior
5. Redefinition- redefinition of my unique identity
6. Teaching- Using the Anthropogogy model to teach the other
Heutagogy is an andragogical approach, in heutagogy the instructor also facilitates the learning process by providing guidance and resources, but fully relinquishes ownership of the learning path and process to the learner, who negotiates learning and determines what will be learned and how it will be learned (Hase & Kenyon, 2000; Eberle, 2009).
Anthropogogy combines the terms Pedagogy (child learning) and Androgogy (male / adult), into one term, Anthropogogy: to mean human learning. Teaching should be carried out alongside the comprehensive development of the human being regardless of his/her biological age.
Both Heutagogy (Self-Determined Learning) and Anthropogogy (Human Learning) support learners in becoming lifelong learners, as “when a practitioner becomes a researcher into his own practice, he engages in a continuing process of self-education” Schön (1983) (p. 299).
Reference: Sustaining lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self determined learning/ Lisa Marie Blaschke – Oldenburg University, Germany