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Personal & Professional Development Essay

1. Introduction

In this assignment we can find the many different terms used to explain the Self-Managed Learning process, with the advantages and disadvantages of it. How this process can influence in a lifelong term, the personal and professional of an individual and how Selfmanaged learning can benefit inside of an organization.

2. The Self-managed Learning Context

Many researches over the years have been showing the self- managed learning is getting very popular inside organization, based on the benefits that an individual acquires at the end of each achievement. Individuals that can manage their learning and activities are more responsible, independent and able to make tough decisions. Self-planning learning; selfeducating; self-directed learning and other similar terms together form the Self-managed context, in other words, the ability to organize and carry out an activity settled as a goal.

2.1 Self-Directed Learning

In the early age, individuals are full dependents on the structure and the context given by their tutor, responsibility here is very low. A child needs to have some task to be accomplished, the tutor has to explain why and how tasks should be done. At the teenage stage the individual starts to be interested in their own learning, the tutor give them more space to be responsible. A simple example, when starting college they have the possibility to choose some subjects they would like to study deeper than the others. Once reached mature life the role tended to change. The adult pass to be self-directed learner, deciding what will be their own goals according with their needs. At this stage the tutor can be only partial responsible in the process of learning, showing them how important is to become a „SelfDirected Learner‟, encouraging and guiding, also stimulate the individuals to think outside the box, always to seek for evaluation on everything that they do, letting the participants dedicate their time on researches and experiments.

The process helps the learners understand how to achieve their goals. The practice involves training and lifelong acquired skills. The self-managed learning starts when people show initiative to conquer some learning experience, being fully in charge for the learning and practicing constant evaluation to succeed. Determination; time; place; tools; evaluation; responsibility, are extremely important elements that a person must consider to be successful. We can find these factors in Malcolm Knowles‟s theory definition: “In this broadest meaning, ’self-direct learning’ describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with or without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating goals, identify human and material resources for learning, choosing and implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.” (Knowles, 1975)

The process of self-directed learning can be different based on the lifelong circumstances. All the tools, method, structures, conditions for learning are directed by the situations (Merriam & Caffarella, 1993). People learn things in different ways and speed, with their own or other people‟s experiences. It can depends on where it will be applied (e.g. at home, at work, study group, etc.); what tools will be used (e.g. books, internet, videos, etc.); whom is going to perform the task. It can be formal and informal.

The self-directed learners after conquering their aims, starts to be more aware of their responsibility in taking learning seriously and directing themselves (Garrison, 1997). They become more creative, curious and the willing to try something new, different (Lyman, 1997), Problems and difficulty to complete a task are seeing as fun challenges (Taylor, 1995). Based on Taylor‟s point of view, the S-D Learners are motivated and persistent, independent, self-disciplined, self-confident.

2.2 Self-Regulated Learning

It is a reference to “thoughts, feelings and actions that are planned and adapted to the attainment of personal goals” (Zimmerman, 2000). The components of S-RL involves, as all the other terms, setting goals for learning, focus on training, using strong strategies to organize ideas, looking for researches effectively, managing performance and time, holding positive beliefs about one‟s capabilities (Schunk & Ertmer, 2000). There are tasks that makes Learners more autonomous, being capable of create an environment of S-RL, some of them are authentic strategies, autonomy-based assignments, and portfolios.

Self-Regulated Learners don‟t only need to understand the strategies but realize the importance of using them to achieve success. Self-Regulation processes focus on how learners can manage their feelings and motivations to learn. It can be improve with practice. However, stresses related with low income such as psychological distress on adults and low quality of childcare background can harm the development of the individual, like occupational rank inside the organizations.

Self-control is one of the most important key/skill to success inside any organization, also in the personal life.

2.3 Self-Planned Learning
The term says for itself. Here we can find some procedure to put on practice SML: Selecting a subject or skill to learn, first evaluating knowledge acquired, seeking for weakness and errors that can be improved. Selecting methods, resources or equipment for learning S-M Learners thinks they would be wasting time by letting the responsibility on somebody else to manage the time for each task. No wrong time and location, the learners will be available whenever/wherever there are.

Expect to feel proud for accomplishing the task and get people attention. They may be too confident planning the steps for the learning, will be easy to complete, but say is easier than done. Perseverance and self-control will lead the learner. May feel hesitant to let and accept others direct their procedures, affecting their beliefs, attitudes or habits.

Setting goals and deadlines. Designing all the steps and following them one by one.

2.4 Learning Project

Project-based learning is an instructional method that provides students with complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students’ problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that includes teacher facilitation, but not direction. PBL is focused on questions that drive students to encounter the central concepts and principles of a subject in a hands-on method. Students form their own investigation of a guiding question, allowing students to develop valuable research skills as students engage in  design, problem solving, decision making, and investigative activities.

Through Project-based learning, students learn from these experiences and apply them to the world outside their classroom. PBL emphasizes creative thinking skills by allowing students to find that there are many ways to solve a problem.

3. Ways to promoted of S-DL in Personal & Professional Lifelong Term Happy staffs are productive Staffs. Foucher’s (1995) revealed based on research that organization that promote SDL can increase the presence of a participative management style, a pleasant environment that employees enjoy independence, making them seeing as very competent and motivated individuals. Giving them support for new strategies application, being tolerant with error and supporting unplanned, non-systematic learning activities, such as little private projects.

SDL process can increases creativity and sense of perception, getting a better spot among the others. Once outside of the organization, they feel lighter, happier, self-confident, etc. All this emotion opens space for a healthier life, the individual become more communicative and comprehensive and patience.

4. Benefits of S-ML Inside Organization

Organizations nowadays are becoming “learning organizations.” Where it promotes or rewards individuals to learn on benefit of the organization (Beitler, 2003, Chapter 12). For this process the establishment needs to have a continuous creation of learning opportunities that can be shared with others learners/employees (team work). Promoting a healthy dialogue and giving also space for continuous evaluation (Watkins and Marsick, 1993). Promoting seminarians; handling books; re-printed articles; and light sessions of training are, still, the most used.

However, SDL costs should be away less than to traditional training programs. A learning organization can be defined as a structured environment focused on teamwork, collaboration, creativity. Senge (1990) identifies five disciplines essential for the learning organization: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building a shared vision, and team learning.

An evaluation of all those 5 elements it is a win-win between employers and employees.

5. Conclusion

We could see, individuals that can practice self-managed learning, who can evaluate, plan, sets their own goals based on their needs and interests are more capable to stand-out among people that always have been told what to do. Changes are not a problem; they are challenges to be achieved. Self-evaluation is the key, is where everything starts. S-ML is a process to be developed at your personal life, professional, at school, at your social group. Be different and become unique. It‟s never late to start learning, it all depends on you.

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