Heutagogy: The Third Gogy

What is Heutagogy?

So we have pedagogy (learning in children) and andragogy (learning in adults). The third gogy is heutagogy (Greek for ‘self‘) which is self-determined learning and places the emphasis of learning on the learner, moving away from the traditional teacher/lecturer role as the focal point. Defined by Hase and Kenyon (2000) as “the study of self-determined learning”, where in an ever-changing world of work, study and life where information is readily accessible and learning aligns with this accessibility.

Heutagogy is perfect for the online world, where the access to so many resources and personal learning networks exist (such as social media). Heutagogy is considered a ‘net-centric’ theory.

Aim of Heutagogy?

  • The development of the learner’s capability and capacity to learn.
  • Prepare learners for the complexities of today’s workplace.
  • Self-directed learning.
  • Self-determined learning.
  • Learner centric.
  • Motivated learners.


For the educator, an approach to creating education delivery will require a learner-centred design philosophy. Allowing the students to explore and find new learning paths is vital. For those educators who like control, this may well be very challenging to have such an open path of educational exploration. In a world of readily available information, the educator is no longer the sole proprietor of subject matter expertise. Regular discussion should allow updates on progress, understanding and if any guidance is required from the educator. A collaborative learning approach can be incorporated into the learning process to encourage teamwork. Consider introducing a learning contract to outline and agree the end expectations in such an open and trusting environment.

Double-Loop Learning

A key concept in heutagogy is that of double-loop learning and self-reflection (Argyris & Schön, 1996, as cited in Hase & Kenyon, 2000). In double-loop learning, learners consider the problem and the resulting action and outcomes, in addition to reflecting upon the problem-solving process and how it influences the learner’s own beliefs and actions. Double-loop learning occurs when learners “question and test one’s personal values and assumptions as being central to enhancing learning how to learn” (Argyris & Schön, 1978, as cited in Hase, 2009, pp. 45-46)”.

Something to consider, in schooling the Montesorri method of allowing the individual to develop and discover has been around since the early 1900’s.

Keywords: Heutagogy; lifelong learning; self-determined learning; self-directed learning; double-loop learning.


Anderson, T. (2010). Theories for learning with emerging technologies. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.) Emerging technologies in distance education. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.

Blaschke, L. M. (2012) Heutagogy and Lifelong Learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. Athabasca University.

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2001). Moving from andragogy to heutagogy: implications for VET. Graduate College of Management Papers, 142.

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. Ultibase Articles, 5(3), 1-10.

Wikipedia (2016) Heutagogy