Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK
It is education that makes a nation live in a free, independent, glorious, high society; or leave to bondage and misery.

Self-Directed Learning Implementation Sills Scale (SDIPSS) consists of the skills included in the Teachers Supported Self-Directed Learning Skills.  SDIPSS was developed by Gündüz and Selvi in ​​2016. More information about the development stages and general characteristics of the scale, see the article and book in which the scale was published. These are stated below.

Scale Artical

Gündüz, G. F. & K. Selvi (2016). Developing a “self-directed learning implementation skills scale for primary school students: Validity and reliability analysis, AGATHOS, Volume 7, Issue 1, 103-124.

Book

Selvi, K. (2019). Kendi Kendine Öğrenme (Self-Directed Learning), (Ed. Kıymet Selvi), Pegem Akademi, 1. Baskı. Ankara.

This scale is applied to primary school students to determine how much of the “Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills” they need for self-directed learning.

Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills has a five-factor structure consisting of 45 items in total. The factors of the scale are as seen below.

The scale consists of five factors which are

  • Research Skills
  • Thinking Skills
  • Using Learning Strategies Skills
  • Evaluation Skills
  • Collaborative Learning with Peers Skills

The factors of the Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills Scale (SDLPSS) are shown in the Figure below.

Figure. Factors of Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills Scale

By applying the scale, it is determined to what extent primary school students have Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills. The student’s learning skills are developed by analysing the scores obtained by each student from the scale. For this, the following process is applied;

  • The total score obtained from the scale is calculated
  • Subscale scores are calculated
  • By examining the total score and subscale scores, it is determined which skills the student has problems with
  • A training program/counselling program is prepared for each student to gain the skills they need
  • With the prepared program, students are provided with the necessary skills.

Self-Directed Learning Preparatory Skills Scale (SDLPSS) consists of the skills included in the Teachers Supported Self-Directed Learning Skills.  SDLPSS was developed by Gündüz and Selvi in ​​2016. More information about the development stages and general characteristics of the scale, see the article and book in which the scale was published. These are stated below.

Scale Artical

Gündüz, G.F. ve Selvi, K. (2016a). Developing A “Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skills Scale For Primary School Students”: Validity and Reliability Analyses, Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4 (10), 2317-2334.  

Book

Selvi, K. (2019). Kendi Kendine Öğrenme (Self-Directed Learning), (Ed. Kıymet Selvi), Pegem Akademi, 1. Baskı. Ankara.

This scale is applied to primary school students to determine how much of the “Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skills” they need for self-directed learning.

Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skills has a four-factor structure consisting of 38 items in total. The factors of the scale are as seen below.

  • Continuity in Learning Skills
  • Planning in Learning Skills
  • Awareness Towards Learning Skills
  • Management of Learning Environment and Learning Resources Skills

The factors of the Self-Directed Learning Preparatory Skills Scale (SDLPS) are shown in the Figure below.

Figure. Factors of Self-Directed Learning Preparatory Skills Scale

By applying the scale, it is determined to what extent primary school students have Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skills. The student’s learning skills are developed by analysing the scores obtained by each student from the scale. For this, the following process is applied;

  • The total score obtained from the scale is calculated
  • Subscale scores are calculated
  • By examining the total score and subscale scores, it is determined which skills the student has problems with
  • A training program/counselling program is prepared for each student to gain the skills they need
  • With the prepared program, students are provided with the necessary skills.

The Self-Directed Learning Skill levels of the students are determined with the two scales developed by Küçüker and Selvi (2014) and Günüz and Selvi (2016) for students studying in primary school grades 1-5. The first scale is the Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skills Scale (SDLPSS) and the second scale is the Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills Scale (SDLISS). These scales, which were developed based on Self-Directed Learning Skills defined for the first time in the world by Selvi and Küçüker, are the first comprehensive scales developed for grades 1-5.

These two scales have the feature of being used together and complementing each other. For this reason, it also shows that SDL-related skills are defined in a comprehensive and holistic manner. First of all, students’ SDL readiness levels should be determined. After the needs related to Self-Learning are determined, necessary trainings should be given to them in line with the needs in order to meet the needs. If a student’s Self-Directed Learning Preparation Skill level is not sufficient according to the result of the SDLPS scale, the scale of SDLIS should not be applied to him / her. The deficiencies in SDLPS should be eliminated with the trainings given in order to provide students with the necessary skills in the field of SDLPS. For this reason, the missing skills related to SDLPS should be acquired by students. As a result of the training, which skills should be measured again after three to four months should be determined.

Having SDL Preparation Skills measured within the scope of the first scale related to SDLs is a prerequisite for the skills in the second scale. For this reason, first of all, deficiencies in SDL Preparation Skills should be identified and trainings that will meet the needs should be given to eliminate these deficiencies. After the students are equipped with SDL Preparation Skills, their SDL Implementation Skills should be measured. If problems arise in Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills as a result of the measurements, appropriate trainings should be designed and carried out in order to eliminate the missing Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills.

As explained above, the skills of the students should be determined by taking into account the prerequisite feature. Later, according to the emerging need, students should be given Self-Learning Skills training and the student’s SDL skills should be improved.

There are many definitions of self-learning in the literature. These definitions focus on certain features of self-learning. Self-Directed Learning is based on the principle that learners in different learning environments take responsibility for and direct their own learning.

Self-Directed Learning; which requires the learner to have the cognitive and affective characteristics required to perform this process effectively and aims at continuity in learning. In order for self-learning to take place, it must have acquired Self-Learning Skills. The concept of Self-Direkted Learning Skills has two main components. Self-Direkted Learning Preparation Skills and Self-Directed Learning Implementation Skills.

Self-Directed Learning Skills and their sub-dimensions are given in the Figure below.

Figure. Self-Directed Learning Skills

If the learner or student does not have the Self-Direkted Learning Skills shown in the Figure, it will not be possible to apply a vertical-axis approach to lifelong learning in the education system.

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that the current education system is based on a horizontal approach, but uniaxial understanding is insufficient. There had been discussions about another education system that had both horizontal and vertical axes instead of the uniaxial education system. However, in order to move to a vertical axis education system, there is a need for a learning-teaching approach that is different from a horizontal axis teacher-centered learning-teaching approach.

In the system, which is formed based on the current horizontal axis learning understanding, a different stance should be passed from the realization of learning depending on certain compulsions or conditions. In order to realize the learning in line with the learner’s own learning skill, learning speed and desire, the vertical axis system must be included in the existing system. In order for the education system to work on a vertical basis, the responsibility of learning should be on the learner in order to develop the individual’s learning skills and reveal the learning potential. These skills related to learning required for the vertical axis are skills that are not foreseen and desired in the horizontal axis system.

Learning in a vertical axis system takes place through the process of gaining Self-Directed Learning Skills, which consists of three stages, such as gaining awareness about their own learning skills, developing self-learning skills and taking responsibility for learning. An individual who completes the three stages involved in the Self-Directed Learning process will transform into a “Self-Directed Learning Individual” and become a lifelong learner who can take responsibility for his own learning. Learning responsibility, Self-Directed Learning and gaining awareness about one’s own learning skills are the main features of the vertical axis system. For this reason, there is a strong relationship between the vertical axis system and Self-Directed Learning Skills.

Horizontal axis education systems are focused on raising one type of person, equipped with similar characteristics and having average standards. If the individual experiences problems in reaching the standards set by the current system in the education process, he / she is excluded from many systems related to the education system as well as the education system. Today, the concept of lifelong education and 21st Century Skills are frequently discussed. Lifelong education and 21st Century Skills do not seem possible to be realized in the horizontal-axis formal education system. These new concepts are innovative solutions to reduce the disadvantages of horizontal axis understanding. However, it is not possible to find a solution to the problems of the system by adding these new features to the horizontal axis education system.

When talking about the axis change, it should not be considered suddenly turning the horizontal axis into the vertical axis. Because the rapid change in education systems alone may not meet all educational needs. For this reason, it may be more appropriate to create a two-axis education system by taking the advantages of the horizontal and vertical axis first. However, the dominant horizontal axis in education can show resistance to the entry of the vertical axis into the education system. The current system can weaken the vertical axis, making it inoperable easily. It may be difficult, but not impossible, to integrate two systems with different features to ensure that they work together. In order for the horizontal axis to work in harmony with the vertical axis, the necessary preliminary preparations should be made for the operation of these two axes in the education system. This preparation will require extensive practical technical preparation. However, there is a need to change the current and dominant perceptions of education before technical preparation. Without intellectual preparation, it is not possible to switch from the current horizontal understanding to the vertical understanding.

For this reason, it will not be easy to transform the horizontal axis education system that emerged with the long experiences of human beings. Perhaps the education system will be easier to change after a very long discussion period. Systems change easily, but the change of ideas created about those systems will be long enough to cost a few generations. For example, I am discussing this concept and perhaps someone will not fully grasp the scope of this discussion. Because they sincerely believe that perhaps small changes to the current education system will resolve all problems. The greatest challenge for such fundamental changes is the intellectual and technical commitment to systems that are trying to be changed. They are resistance to a new perspective, depending on the level of commitment of experts, politicians, those within the system, and various interest groups.

The horizontal axis efficiency of the current education system seems to have completed its study period. Since existing education systems are organized horizontally, their sustainability is gradually weakening. Due to the horizontal axis of the current education systems, serious problems arise especially in the use of the education rights of individuals and in meeting the educational needs and expectations of the individuals in the system. Strict adherence to the horizontal axis in existing education systems causes the individual to keep under control and limit the opportunities for self-actualization. Since the focus is on the expectations of the society and common features to be gained to the groups on the horizontal axis, individuals’ presence in the education system with their characteristics is generally prevented or ignored. The horizontal axis education system, which focuses on the group rather than the individual, ensures its own sustainability by strictly adhering to the principles that may prevent the development of the individual.

While strictly adhering to the horizontal axis applications in primary education, secondary education, high school and undergraduate education process, it can be said that some features of the vertical axis understanding are partially applied only in postgraduate education Common standards, goals, achievements and competencies are defined for everyone in the context of time, subject, processes and outputs for the learning to be realized in the horizontal axis education system. Everyone has to complete or achieve these features foreseen for an average learner in the same way. The horizontal axis education approach works just like a factory that makes mass production using pre-designed molds. It makes production by using molds, numbers, raw materials, colors, shapes and patterns, taking into account the needs and expectations. Partial changes in production in such a mass production factory are added to the system by taking into account the fashionable features, market expectations and consumption habits and a commercial perspective direct this production.

The analogy of schools to a factory may cause many objections, but as an educator it has been used as a metaphor to describe the impasse of the current education system. For this reason, I would like to point out that educators, students, teachers, parents and those responsible for the construction and operation of the system are excluded from this analogy. Because these people work too hard to operate of the education system.

In my previous article titled “Is it time to change the axis of education systems?” It was mentioned that the current education systems have a horizontal axis. It was also briefly explained what the horizontal and vertical axis are. In this article, I will try to explain how axis change can be achieved.

Change of axis means changing the current perspective on education. Changing the axis is not adding innovations to the system in order to provide solutions to the problems that arise in the current education system. Axis change of educational system is to foresee to change all of the strengths and weaknesses of existing education systems. For this reason, all perceptions and situations of the current education system should be questioned as the starting step of the axis change. The second fundamental step is to decide the direction of change of the axis of the current education system.

With these two basic steps briefly mentioned above, it is foreseen to change the existing perceptions about education, which is only one dimension of the intellectual infrastructure of the change of age. Generally, taking these two basic steps, i.e., change in perceptions about education, can be seen as the responsibility of politicians and / or decision makers. However, before them, the beliefs and perceptions of those who work on educational science, those who carry out applications within the education system, the target groups in education and the business world should change. For example, a student can analyse their experience of the current system and their incompatibility better than a politician or decision maker. This type of analysis can also be done by teachers, educational scientists, and those interested in the business world.

With the two basic steps envisaged for the Change of Axes in the Education System, the change of axis in the education system will become visible with the actions of policy makers and decision makers regarding the education system. The essence of these change efforts is to reveal a new understanding of education.

For example, since the current education system is based on a horizontal axis-weighted structure, a new system based on the vertical axis, which is the opposite of the horizontal axis, can be predicted. For example, in the current horizontal axis education system, there is an effort to convince that what is taught is sufficient and necessary, based on predetermined educational policies, at the centre of efforts related to individual learning. The most important actors of the persuasion process are teachers. The current education system is designed based on the understanding of persuading the individual to learn. Everyone except the student is involved in making decisions about the operation of the system. The learner tries to continue his learning by convincing that what is offered to him in the current education system is necessary for his development.

In a horizontal axis education system, the development plan foreseen for the learner should be accepted as it is without questioning. Because all of the sub-systems that are intertwined and prerequisites for each other are integrated with the persuasion process. The person who graduates from high school goes to university by taking an exam from the subjects he learned in high school. What they know outside of the curriculum in high school does not provide an advantage because they learn personal development on their own. It is not possible to take this exam before completing high school. An unconvinced learner is easily thrown out of the system.

On the vertical axis, an individual’s learning is not achieved only by being in a resource or a compulsory system. He / she can have the opportunities to improve himself by gaining knowledge and skills from many systems. The learner can continue their learning without being dependent on a teacher. Many resources can provide learning opportunities for him. The learner can continue their learning without being dependent on a teacher. Many resources can provide learning opportunities for him. The important thing is to present these opportunities and resources to the individual. The important thing is to present these opportunities and resources to the individual.

Whether systems are individual, social or institutional, there is an axis in which every system moves forward. These axes are divided into two as horizontal and vertical axes. While the vertical axis expresses more development and progress, the horizontal axis is based on the understanding that the systems determined without predicting any change will continue in the same way. It is seen that the current education systems in the world have a horizontal axis based on the understanding of preserving the current situation.

The horizontal axis depends on the understanding of the individual to position himself, the world and systems through opposition, contrasts and studies such as good-bad, successful-unsuccessful, distant-near, liked-disliked, friend-enemy, us-not from us. Individuals, society, state and systems perceive themselves and others on the opposite-based horizontal axis. Judgments or evaluations are made over an ideology and value system that exists on the horizontal axis.For example, the same ideology and values ​​are shared within the family as a result of parents transferring their own ideology or world view to their children. Considering the social life of the children, adopting the values ​​of the family and society is seen as a good behavior. However, in this case, there arises the danger of being transferred to life without questioning existing values.From the perspective of personality development, acceptance of current values ​​corresponds to the midpoint of the personality development process, that is exactly half. If an individual is stuck halfway through personality development, it is unlikely to go further. In other words, if the effort to create personality integrity remains in full half, the process to personality integrity is interrupted if it cannot be carried forward. In individuals whose personality integrity is lacking, or in societies that position themselves according to their enemy or rival, development and consciousness development remain very weak.

On the horizontal axis, the individual continues his / her own development, focusing on the outsiders, without considering his / her inner feelings and thoughts. For example, when students in the education system experience a failure, they see problems arising from the teacher, book, education program or education system as the source of it. However, they do not focus on which of their characteristics pertain to whether or not to create a problem in their learning. Since they do not research their own internal resources regarding the problem that arises in their learning, they are insufficient to find an effective solution to the problem. It is possible to see similar ones in this example almost every day in individual and social life. It can be said that this is due to the fact that the current education system operates on the horizontal axis.

The vertical axis is the opposite of the horizontal axis. On the vertical axis, the individual focuses on internal systems, not external systems. The individual can decide for himself how he will develop. An educational system based on the vertical axis focuses on the individual’s own development curve and takes into account the internal resources of the individual to sustain his development. For example, it is based on the progress between the situation of students learning mathematics in the classroom at the beginning of the term and their status at the end of the term. It is not looked at how much of a standard or norm that has been established as on the horizontal axis is realized compared to the others.

In horizontal systems, it is aimed to keep the individual under control. The development of individuals kept under control takes place to the extent allowed by the family and social systems. Existing education systems plan to what extent individuals will allow their development through inflexible education programs and systems.

In vertical systems, it is aimed to continuously increase the self-realization process of the individual and to continuously open consciousness and perceptions.

Vertical systems are needed for the individual to perceive and develop his own existence in the world. In order to develop the individual through vertical systems, it should focus on the development of individuals rather than the development of systems. If the individual can be offered the opportunity to realize their learning with a vertical axis-based approach through the education system, the awareness of using the existing potential of the individual is gained.

Learners need to acquire Self-Directed Learning Skills in order to continue their lifelong learning in school or outside of school. These skills can be acquired by the individual at any time in his life. However, it will take time for individuals to acquire Self-Directed Learning Skills with their own efforts and without expert support, and they will face failures in the acquisition of these skills. Due to the problems, they encounter in the Self-Directed learning process, many individuals’ motivation to learn will decrease. For this reason, it would be more appropriate to be responsible for the acquisition of Self-Directed Learning Skills , together with schools that are defined as learning-teaching centers and teachers who are specialized in learning-teaching.

It will be ensured that students become lifelong learners with the acquisition of Self-Directed Learning Skills, especially in the primary school period when deliberate learning is very intense. Because, teachers who are assumed to be experts in learning-teaching at schools will be able to easily teach Self-Directed Learning Skills to students during the teaching of their lessons. If schools and educators claim that we teach, then they must be responsible for providing students with learning skills. Because future education systems must successfully perform the following three functions. These functions are envisaged in the curriculum;

  • To gain knowledge, skills and affective
  • To gain daily life skills
  • To gain self-directed learning skills

However, educational scientists, decision makers, experts, policy makers, universities and the public opinion should be aware of this function in order to acquire Self-Directed Learning Skills, which are defined as the third function of the education system. School and education personnel should be supported in order to understand and implement the third function of education.

In my opinion, if schools work like a center that teaches Self-Directed Learning Skills or if they can turn into a Self-Directed Learning Skills Center, most of the learning problems of education systems and individuals will disappear. This requires a serious change in understanding and approach to the education system. Young people and children are already ready for these changes. Those who are not ready for the envisaged change seem to be adults, those who play a role and are responsible for running the education system …