"Monkey See, Monkey Do, That’s Not Going to Actually Teach You": Becoming a Self-Directed Learner in Enabling Mathematics Units
To explore the mathematics learning experiences of those more likely to come from non-traditional educational backgrounds, ten students studying one or two maths units in the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) at CQUniversity Australia were interviewed. The aim was to investigate how these students learnt to become self-directed learners during their preparation for their intended undergraduate study. Using grounded theory methodology, data were analysed within the theoretical framework of andragogy, namely, adult learning. Analysis of data indicated that students were able to learn how to become self-directed learners when lecturers ‘tailored’ teaching to the students’ needs, taking into consideration their state of mind, ability to plan their work, developing adeptness at engaging in mathematical activities, and assistance received in evaluating their own learning outcomes. In practice, findings of this study provide some insight into how enabling mathematics lecturers can tailor activities to best meet the needs of their students. Further, the development of self-directed learning skills in the context of mathematics has potential to benefit these students in all their university study.