Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

The Investigation of the Level of Self-Directed Learning Readiness According to the Locus of Control and Personality Traits of Preschool Teacher Candidates

Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

The Investigation of the Level of Self-Directed Learning Readiness According to the Locus of Control and Personality Traits of Preschool Teacher Candidates

Article excerpt

Introduction

In our era in which knowledge is progressing rapidly, one of the main aims of education is to raise individuals who can assess their own needs of learning and the sources and methods needed to overcome these needs and who can regulate their own motivations during process and who can learn by themselves (Boekaerts, 1999). The two of the significant variables that literature indicates to obtain these skills are traits of personality and individual's locus of control, which can be considered as a personality trait (Lefcourt, 1992). It is stated that individuals, especially who have self-control and internal control, take more responsibility during the learning process and gain more academic success (Silvester, Anderson-Gough, Anderson & Mohamed, 2002). It is required for teacher candidates to have this skill to contribute their students' self-directed learning in the future (Sahin & Erden, 2009).

In this study, it is aimed to identify the relationship between (1) the level of readiness for self-directed learning, and (2) traits of personality and the locus of control of the preschool teacher candidates. For this purpose, identifying the degree of the relationship between the level of self-directed learning readiness and the traits of personality and the locus of control is the question to be answered.

In this context, the literature about (1) self-directed learning, (2) theories based on the big five personality traits, (3) locus of control based upon the definition of Rotter's and (4) the relationship between self-directed learning, personality traits and locus of control are discussed as below.

Self-directed Learning

In recent researches, it has been studied how individuals achieve the learning outside the scope of formal education by their own control and which variables are related to this learning. According to Hiemstra (1994), even it takes place in the formal education environments the majority of the learning activities are under the initiative of the individual who learns. According to him, concepts like self-directed learning, self-regulated learning, self-planned learning, self-education, independent learning and open learning are expressing the same phenomenon. During the self-directed learning process control is a very important variable (Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991; Hiemstra, 1994; Knowles, 1990). Zimmerman (1998 cited in Adagideli, Saraç & Ader, 2015) stresses that self-regulated learning could be defined as a self-directed process in which the individuals transform their mental abilities into academic achievement. For self-directed learning it is required for an individual to set the goals and strategies of learning, make decisions about how to use the resources and evaluate the success and lead and sustain his/her motivation. According to Brockett and Hiemstra (1991), the individual who learns with self-management needs to have the self-directed abilities and it is a personality trait.

Big Five Personality Traits

Either inherited or obtained, all the behaviours, talents, desires, emotions and habits which distinguish one individual from another, form one part of the individual's personality (Baymur, 1994).

There are many theorists who have investigated the structure of personality. One of them, Goldberg (1981 cited in Güney-Karaman, Dogan & Esen-Çoban, 2010), put forth the "Big Five" theory about the structure of the personality. Goldberg extended the model of Cattell who accepted an approach that separate the personality into dimensions and he has developed the five factor personality model (Burger, 2006). McCrae and Costra (2003), using the factor analysis technique, first identified the personality with "extraversion", "neuroticism" and "openness". Later, "conscientiousness" and "agreeableness" are added to these dimensions. The results of factor analysis also supported the Big Five Personality Model of Goldberg's (1981). This model is used on this research because it is one of the most widely used personality theory (Sigri & Gürbüz, 2011). …

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