The Concept of Heutagogy for 21st Century


There is a need to change from adragogy to heutagogy use in the modern world education sector. The concept of heutagogy refers to a learning process that is self directed. In this process, it is the individual students which take the initiative of determining their learning needs and formulating their own learning goals, also it is the students which take the lead in the determination of the required learning material and human resources for the learning and strategizing on how to go about the learning. They then devise a method of executing the learning plan as well as finding how well the plan has been achieved by the use of evaluation methods. Heutagogy provides the choice of students to do the above processes on their own or with the assistance of their tutors.

ICT in teaching

ICT in education is in line with the philosophy of heutagogy because this philosophy advocates for change in line with technology advancements. ICT has had a very strong positive impact in education. Contrary to the past, it is now possible to access information very fast and in an efficient way. This is a plus in education because learners are supposed to learn for a limited period of time and proceed to the field to practice what they learned. The process of accessing information is very easy and therefore eliminates unnecessary difficulties in knowledge acquisition (Cohen, Ledford, 1994, pp. 33. 36, 41). Through ICT, learners are able to get the leading edge opinions and ideas on various issues. They get the latest updates in the subjects they are taught. There is also reduced reliance on written resources and also the advantage of interacting with their teachers on-line. Other benefits include the ability to develop and expand their knowledge when they revisit the ideas they were taught from the Internet, the ability to relate their lessons with the real examples whose information is being posted on the Internet every day. The ICT offers the flexibility that is desirable in learning so that different learning styles can be accommodated (AFLF , 2003, p. 79).

21st Century skills Enhanced by the heutagogy approach

The 21st century is full of challenges in virtually all aspects of life (Hase, Kenyon, 2000, p. 47). The kind of people being ‘produced’ from education centres should be prepared fully’ to face these challenges competitively. They are required to be very well rounded. Some of the skills being taught include how to properly manage organizations and people at work place, capacity building of one self and of others, how to trouble-shoot and come up with solutions for emanating problems. The skills of consultation with more informed authorities where their knowledge is insufficient, the skills for accurate collection and analysis of data from which informed policies will be made, interviewing skills, negotiation skills, active participation in team-work as well as the ability to build workable teams. Equally crucial is the ability to do monitoring of projects they have initiated as well as the skills of making a good framework for evaluating the success of the planned activities. Lastly, the heutagogy teaches learners how to be responsive to the ever changing challenges in life as the world continues to rapidly change (David, 2004, p. 118).

Implications of heutagogical approach

This approach will lead to ‘production’ of people who are competent and fit to survive the current life challenges. The future managers and staff being prepared shall be able to analyse and address the actual needs of people at work. The skills learned shall enhance the capability and capacity of people for life time. They shall be self sufficient and human resources shall be managed properly (Barajas, 2002, p. 81).


The use of heutogogy in this 21st century is one of the best moves. The approach leads to preparation of ‘fit for survival’ people. Several life skills are taught and the implication is all positive as well as one is always aware of the environment so as to make adjustments when the situations call for that.


Australian Flexible Learning Framework (AFLF). (2003). VET Policy Strategy. Brisbane: ANTA.

Barajas, M. (2002). Indicators of ICT practices. Paris: Prometheus.

Cohen, S. & Ledford, S. (1994). Self managing teams. Human Relations. 47(1), 13 -43.

David B. (2004). How to be a master student. College Survival. Rapid City: Univ. of South Dekota.

Hase, S & Kenyon, C. (2000). Andragogy to Heutagogy. Lismore: S CU.


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