Do you know what it means? I didn't!
A learning services firm I work for is looking to expand its development of informal learning services. Of course this intrigues me as I am a great admirer of self-directed learners and the leverage that informal learning and communities of practice hold for individuals.
So, I began researching (read: mucking about on Google) informal and self-directed learning. I did not know that self-directed (or "self-determined") learning has a formal term: Heutagogy.
In education, heutagogy, a concept coined by Stewart Hase of Southern Cross University in Australia, is the study of self-determined learning. The notion is an expansion and reinterpretation of andragogy, and it is possible to mistake it for the same. However, there are several differences between the two that mark the one from the other.
Heutagogy places specific emphasis on learning how to learn, double loop learning, universal learning opportunities, a non-linear process, and true learner self-direction. So, for example, whereas andragogy focuses on the best ways for people to learn, heutagogy also requires that educational initiatives include the improvement of people's actual learning skills themselves, learning how to learn as well as just learning a given subject itself. Similarly, whereas andragogy focusses on structured education, in heutagogy all learning contexts, both formal and informal, are considered.