What is Heutagogy and how to implement it in a classroom

What is Heutagogy?

  • Ayushi Singh
    Ayushi Singh


Heutagogy is a process of learning where students learn on their own with some guidance from the teacher. It is different from the traditional system of learning where a student has to follow the teacher's instructions. The term Heutagogy is inspired by the Greek word Heuriskein, which means โ€œto discover.โ€

As a teacher or parent, you must be aware of different ways of learning. Like Heutagogy, Andragogy is a term used for the learning style adopted by independent learners; in this style, students learn from their own experiences. Furthermore, their motivation to learn stems from individual desires to perform and find recognition.

As a teacher or parent, you must be aware of different ways of learning. Like Heutagogy, Andragogy is a term used for the learning style adopted by independent learners; in this style, students learn from their own experiences. Furthermore, their motivation to learn stems from individual desires to perform and find recognition.

Andragogy and Heutagogy - Differences

Though closely related, Andragogy and Heutagogy are different in many ways. The crucial differences between the two are highlighted in the table below.

Andragogy 

Heutagogy 

It is suited for adults who want to learn something new merely for satisfaction or to solve problems. 

It works best for students who have the potential to handle the learning process on their own.  

People who follow this learning style donโ€™t generally seek guidance or motivation from others.  

Teachers help the students by providing study materials and resources. However, the method of learning is conceptualized by the students all by themselves.  

These types of learners learn something for a cause. 

Learning may not be for solving a problem or need. The method of learning stems from the desire to learn in new situations and conditions.  

The learning lays focus on a particular issue or problem.

As the study is not pre-planned or directed towards solving a problem, the students indulge in active learning and their skills may go beyond the need of solving problems. They usually reflect, discuss, and share their experiences to gain more insights or to improve their perceptions about a specific topic. 

The students who follow the Andragogy learning style are usually motivated by a specific event or recognition. They pursue a learning activity due to increased confidence and self-esteem. 

The students who follow Heutagogy are usually inspired by their creative inclinations and understand the way of learning while interacting with others.  

The Principles of Heutagogy

Now that you understand the subtle yet critical differences between Andragogy and Heutagogy, it is time to deep dive into the principles of Heutagogy! ย 

Learner-Centric

Heutagogy is a learner-focused process. It means that all the decisions related to learning are by the learner. Furthermore, the learner is the one to decide the topics to be covered and the learning process, as a whole. Whether or not the learning outcomes are satiated, is also for the learner to determine.

Transformational Learning Process

Heutagogy is a type of pedagogy that focuses on transformational learning. It means that in order to learn something the students rely on their inner skills and abilities. They showcase self-efficacy in learning under new and novel situations by demonstrating skills and competencies. Their ability to transform their learning according to situations helps them embrace the transformational learning style.

Lessons from Oneโ€™s Own Learning

Heutagogy allows students to recollect and analyze the things taught in the classroom. They must reflect on their own learning process and find ways to fine-tune it.

Undefined Path of Learning

As the learner gets to decide what is crucial and what is not, the path of learning is not predefined when it comes to Heutagogy. The students choose from many options when identifying what is to be learned and how.

Double-loop learning

Double-loop learning is an integral part of heutagogy. It refers to the process of questioning oneโ€™s beliefs and problem-solving apart from analyzing the actions and their results. Single-loop process means when a learner only focuses on problems and the outcomes of the actions. Double-loop learning is assessing the learning process and identifying how to learn.

Role of social media and web 2.0 in heutagogy

Web 2.0 refers to the applications and websites that utilize user-generated content to help customers. Such websites/applications and social media have been supporting self-determined learning i.e. heutagogy in a big way. The digital platforms promote interaction and collaboration and also prove to be a great learning resource and enable knowledge sharing. They promote autonomous learning and enable the students to personalize their learning methods through technology and learner-generated content.

Application of Heutagogy in the Classroom

Heutagogy can also be applied in a classroom setting. Here are some ideas to help you implement Heutagogy for your students or kids.

Identifying Learning Requirements and Outcomes

The students and teachers must come together to identify learning outcomes and requirements. As the style of teaching is learner-centric, the students must be able to decide the topics they want to explore. You must prepare a learning contract with the consent of students that addresses all their learning objectives and needs.

Aligning Learning Objectives with Learning Requirements of Students

Flexibility in terms of learning methods and curriculum is the essence of Heutagogy. The students get to select topics they want the curriculum to cover. As a teacher, you must set learning objectives aligned with the learning needs of every individual. In short, unlike traditional teaching methods, Heutagogy ensures maximum interaction between the students and teachers.

Assessing Competency

In Heutagogy, the students have the freedom to assess their competency and skills all by themselves. They can create assessment tests by themselves and examine and analyze their competency after going through these tests.

Conclusion

As a teacher, you must be able to collaborate with the students to make them understand their learning responsibilities. Students must be made capable of understanding the perspectives of other learners while reflecting on their own learning. Teachers must encourage their students to share and discuss their learning skills to enhance learning patterns and methods. Heutagogy can be implemented better with digital technologies that help the students to seek assistance from teachers whenever they need it. Finally, the end goal is to help students develop a learning environment where they no longer have to depend on others to learn something successfully.

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