Lucka #14: The long road to Heutagogy and my failed Xmas picture

While visiting my former mentor and friend Ana, we came across the term Heutagogy! Yet another “gogy” besides pedagogy (the art and science of teaching children) and andragogy (the art and science of teaching adults).
The term heutagogy is actually related with “eureka“ which Archimedes exclaimed after realizing the equivalency between the volume of his body and the one of the displaced water in his bath. Imagine what a joy he must have felt that made him run naked over the streets of Syracuse.
So, when was the last time you had an “eureka”?
For me it was when I took my family xmas picture this last weekend. For the first I realized that I didn’t know a bunch of things about my camera without counting light metering, strobes and commanding large groups of people.
My instant reaction was that of frustration when I saw my poor results. Then I composed myself and looked for a course on the internet to learn studio photography. When I contacted Kim I found myself telling him in detail what I wanted to know and how I wanted to know it!
Suddenly it was about heutagogy!
This term was coined in 2000 by (Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2000)) and relates to self-directed learning. The word, derived from the Greek word heuriskein meaning “to discover” and is related with “heuristic” that is defined as a method of teaching by allowing students to discover for themselves (like Archimedes). The focus in this approach is on WHAT and HOW the learner wants to learn and not on what is going to be taught.
Thus, the heutagogical learning is not planned nor linear but informal and reminds of how people learn outside the school out of their own motivation, curiosity, needs or frustrations (like in my case).
In heutagogy, teachers are not the source of the information (pedagogy) nor a guide (andragogy) but more like a co-learning partner while the students define their own problems, questions to answer and learning goals as I did when I wanted to learn about studio photography.
I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to learn. I discovered a problem and had my own questions in mind.
Heutagogy is indeed a student-centered approach which reminds of problem- based learning (PBL) but with a more open and unpredictable outcome like challenge based learning (CBL).
The heutagogical approach is like a long road for the long-life learners, the ones hungry of knowledge, the ones who never leave school, the autodidacts. Heutagogy is available to learners of all ages and is not bound to institutions.
Technological advances have paved the way for e-heutagogical learning with the arrival of MOOCs, OER, Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Mastodont, Pinterest and Reddit and Quora and Wikipedia. There are many sources. The learners are able to create their own content and to learn by networking at their own pace.
My friend Carolin, 50+ told me today that she wanted to learn how to build furniture. I asked her, why don’t you just do it?
And we started to talk about economical issues, lack of time and the requirements to enter a prestigious school like Malmstens. We then realized that she doesn’t need a certificate, she just wants to learn and for this she could just ask someone on the internet. Nowadays anyone can learn anything from anyone at any time. My friend doesn’t need to give away her dream of becoming a cabinetmaker.
And like this we had also our little “eureka” moment before leaving for our Lucia Concert (with our clothes on).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *