From the article, "Teaching Learners to be Self-Directed"
available at: http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow
Referencing this publication
So far, this paper has presented the SSDL model and used it to provide insights into several common teaching situations. We will conclude by considering it as an overall guide to instruction.
The fundamental movement implicit in the SSDL model is the movement from dependent to self-directed learning. Teaching is matched to learners with the explicit purpose of helping them attain the knowledge, skills, motivation, and goal of becoming more autonomous in learning and (I add somewhat idealistically) in life.
Returning to Figure 2, we can see that there are six areas of significant mismatch between teaching style and learning stage. Blocking out the mismatches highlights the 10 areas in which teaching style and learner stage are matched (or nearly matched). Those 10 areas, moving in the diagram from lower left diagonally to upper right, constitute an area of workable match--a"learning field" (Hersey  calls it the High Probability Match diagonal)--onto which several pedagogical activities can be usefully mapped.
Paul Hersey, co-author of the Situational Leadership Model, described an experimental course in which students were moved through more dependent roles into self-directed roles (Hersey & Blanchard, 1988, p. 192). The course began with lectures (delivered in a Stage 1 teaching style), moved to directed discussions (Stage 2), then to less-structured discussions (Stage 3), and finally to student-directed discussions (Stage 4). During the semester, the teacher gradually changed role from expert, to guide, to facilitating participant, to consultant for student-directed activities. (See Figure 3.)
Student roles changed during this time in response to the teacher's role--from dependent to participant to student-led learning. Hersey (1988) reported student resistance to moving into Stage 3 and 4 learning (a resistance Millar et al.  discuss in some depth), but found the course to be more successful than a control course taught in the regular way. (As far as I know, no one else has duplicated this basic experiment in staged self-direction--hint, hint.) Following this example, the SSDL model can be used to plan a course, so that students move from dependent to more self-directed learning over a semester.
Figure 3. Applying the Staged Self-Direction Model to a Course
As students gain the skills needed for self-direction, the teacher becomes less directive. A similar progression can be applied to the curriculum, with students learning in a more self-directed manner in upper-level courses.
Discovery learning. Instructor as expert, consultant, and monitor.
Teams working closely with instructor on real problems. Critical thinking. Learning strategies.
Applying the basics in a stimulating way.
Instructor as motivator.
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In a similar way, the overall plan for a college curriculum can be mapped into the four diagonal boxes in Figure 3. Introductory college courses could match the S1 student with T1 and T2 teaching styles. Intermediate courses could match S2 students with T1/2/3 teaching styles. Advanced courses could match S3 students with T2/3/4 teaching styles. S4 students are matched to graduate courses, internships, independent study, and senior thesis, taught in the T3 and T4 teaching styles. In such a way, the SSDL model might be used as a planning tool for coordinating faculty efforts so that students do, in fact, progress toward greater self-direction as they move to upper-level college courses.
Even a single class meeting could be organized so that students move from dependency, through intermediate stages, to more self-directed learning. The teacher can demonstrate a skill, coach them through using the skill, facilitate their application of it, then have them work in groups to create new situations in which to practice the skill on each other. On a small scale, this progression takes students through the stages of increased self-direction and empowerment as the teacher moves from a directive role to one of facilitating and monitoring.
Recursive Teaching. The SSDL model describes a progression of stages, but the progress of a student or a class will rarely be linear, and most classes will contain students at different stages of self-direction. A more realistic version of the model would be non-linear and iterative.
Consider an upper-level college course designed in the S3 model. The teacher serves as group facilitator, with the job of empowering students to take greater charge of their learning and making certain that they master advanced levels of the subject matter. Most of the work of the class takes place in the S3 arena, where the teacher seeks ways to phase out external leadership and empower more student self-direction.
But there will be times when other learning modes are necessary. When the group (or some of its members) are deficient in basic skills, they may need drill and practice--an S1 mode. (Even advanced students sometimes choose S1 teachers who push them to achieve goals the students cannot achieve under their own motivation.) Sometimes the S3 teacher may determine that coaching or confrontation are necessary to reach a student. The class may loop back to the S1 mode for a while, then return to S3.
The need may also arise for continued motivation and encouragement. Sometimes members of the class will supply it. Sometimes the teacher will have shift to the salesmanship mode of S2.
There will also be times when the teacher's knowledge matters more than anything else; lecturing may be the best possible response at that point. During the lecture, the class loops back to the S1 or S2 mode, then returns to the group interaction and subtle facilitation of the S3 mode.
At times, individuals or subgroups will become ready to exert self-direction and leadership. Those students can go into the S4 mode, carry out a project independently, then come back to the group and teach the results. In these ways, with the S3 mode of the facilitated group as a base, the class can loop out to the other three stages when they are appropriate.
In a similar way, a class focussed on another stage of learning, S1 through S4, can draw support from earlier stages and lean toward later stages. Many college courses center around a series of S1/S2 lectures but have a weekly discussion group more in the S3 mode. Looping may be a more effective way to use the SSDL concept than trying to follow a sequence of linear stages. Still, the map provided by the SSDL model identifies the educational terrain we are traversing. The rigid application of this model would, of course, lead to just another unfortunate orthodoxy. Yet, until a better way arrives, the SSDL model helps one stay focused on the task of developing self-direction.