Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Fostering Learner Self-Direction to Prepare Students for Lifelong Learning

Prof. Carrie J. Boden.

Encouraging and enabling students to become lifelong learners is increasingly important in a world in flux where learning organizations are the norm, an average person changes careers five times in her/her lifetime, and one must continuously learn in order to keep up with the ever-growing digital divide and the impact of new technologies. This paper will discuss how assisting learners in becoming increasingly self-directed throughout their studies is a key component of preparing students to develop into lifelong learners. According to experts in the field of self-directed learning, such as Kasworm (1992), teachers have a greater impact on student learning when we provide learners with tools for a lifetime as opposed to providing a “one shot, learning experience of knowledge that will be obsolete in the future.” The learning contract is a tool for helping students master the skills of self-directed and life-long learning, such deciding what is important to learn, how the material will be learned, and how one will evaluate the quality of the product of one’s learning. Learning contracts assist students in becoming increasingly self-directed by giving them more agency in their learning. The skills that students master within an institutional context while learning by contract transfer to later self-directed learning and life-long learning endeavors. The presenter will share the vision, planning, and practice at an American University located in the mid-west where students are exposed to learning contracts throughout the curriculum and are incrementally more self-directed as they move toward graduation and prepare for life-long learning in an ever-changing world.


Prof. Carrie J. Boden  (United States)
Assistant Professor of English, Area Coordinator of English and Languages
College of Adult and Professional Studies
Friends University

Prof. Carrie Boden came to Friends University in 1998 after finishing a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Wichita State University, and currently she is pursuing a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Adult and Continuing Education at Kansas State University. Professor Boden teaches a variety of writing, literature, ESL, and humanities courses in the traditional undergraduate and adult programs. In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Boden serves as the Area Coordinator of English and Languages in the College of Adult and Professional Studies.

  • Self-directed learning
  • Learning contracts
  • Lifelong learning

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)