International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2003 Special Issue


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Gifted Primary Students' Knowledge of Self Directed Learning

Penny Van Deur
Flinders University




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Gifted students are often described in the literature as being self-regulated, self-directed learners. Ten gifted primary students were interviewed in order to clarify the concept of self-directed learning in students of primary age. The students provided information on their knowledge of self-directed learning, explanations of the self-directed learning process, self-directed learning at school and out-of-school, learning preferences, and their attitudes to self-directed learning. Gifted studentsí views were compared with those of ten randomly selected students and four students identified as having learning difficulties in classroom work.

For gifted students, understandings of self-directed learning included internal influences such as initiative, effort, and persistence, and external influences included time management strategies, working with others, and using resources.

The paper introduces a model of self-directed learning in primary students. The model includes motivation, learning strategies and the nature of the school context.

Gifted primary students, self-directed learning, inquiry,
self-regulated learning, motivation, learning


  Van Deur, P. (2004) Gifted Primary Students' Knowledge of Self Directed Learning. International Education Journal, 4 (4), 64-74.

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