Exploring Pedagogy for Autonomy in Language Education at University: Possibilities and Impossibilities

  • Manuel Jiménez RayaEmail author
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 14)


Autonomy in learning has long been part of a broad range of educational philosophies. It is currently identified as crucial to the development of lifelong learning in ‘the learning society’. Furthermore, it is often regarded as a defining trait of all sustained learning that attains long-term success. Autonomy is both a goal of higher education and an educational approach to secure that goal. The creation of the European Higher Education Area and the implementation of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) each call for a learner-centered, meaning-based pedagogy which fosters the development of critical thinking skills. In this sense, pedagogy for autonomy becomes an indispensable element.

In this chapter, I will define how autonomy has been described in the relevant literature (definitions, broad and narrow, autonomy and independence, self-regulation and self-management). This will then be followed by an overview of its manifestations in the curriculum. Special attention will be devoted to constraints in the implementation of pedagogy for autonomy and the need to find spaces for manoeuvre. The EHEA calls for a notion of pedagogy based on the scholarship of teaching and learning (Shulman, Four-word: against the grain. In: Huber MT (ed) Balancing acts: the scholarship of teaching and learning in academic careers. (January 21, 2009), 2004) as a lodestar in contexts where research is mostly disciplinary and detached from teaching.


Critical Thinking Intrinsic Motivation Autonomy Support Transformational Learning Learner Autonomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Filologías Inglesa y AlemanaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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