Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Cracking the Cocoon: Promoting Self-Directed Lifelong Learning in EFL Pre-service Teachers in Chile Through the Guided Use of Social Media Tools
Paula Antoinette Charbonneau-Gowdy, Danisa Thamara Salinas Carvajal

Last modified: 08-06-2017



While is it an obvious observation that in the 21st century individuals will need to continue to learn to keep pace with the rapid changes that affect their personal and professional lives, the practicalities of doing so are daunting. Where do we begin to instill a sense of self-directed learning that leads to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and, more importantly, how? The aim of our study was to determine the influence of providing guided support in the use of social media to a group of future EFL teachers in Chile. In this context, where traditional teaching practices and cultural norms, not to mention resistance to technology adoption often stand in the way of learner agency and evolving self-directed learner identities, we focussed on pre-service teachers as a strategic step in changing these trajectories. Our results were encouraging in that for this group of participants there was evidence of change not only in responsibility for learning but in a metacognitive awareness of ‘how’ to learn – key ingredients in reaching personal and professional potential. We conclude that the use of technology needs to be re-conceptualized as not only an information provider but as a key player in constructing self-directed, lifelong learners.

Keywords: self-directed learning, social media, lifelong learning, Teacher Education, ICT, learner identities



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