Thoughts on Self-Directed Learning #1

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Have you noticed that most how to books in genealogy, and most local genealogy classes and workshops seem to focus on genealogy records and seldom address evidence analysis or research logic? So who is the genealogist going to turn to to learn about these things. Certainly not Ghost Busters! As analytical thinking, the logical combination of evidence and the successful construction of genealogical proof have become as important as the acquition of records, we need to look at some new avenues for learning.

We could correspondence courses from instututions like the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, the National Genealogical Society or Brigham Young University Continuing Education.

We can attend some of the institutes such as the Salt Lake Institute or the one at Sanford University in Alabama.

We can attend one of the National Conferences like the National Genealogical Society Conference in Chicago in June or Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in September and concentrate on attending those lectures / workshops that deal with these issues. If we are lucky some of these speakers will speak on these topics at local or state or regional events.
Or we can take charge of our own learning. Self-directed study is a process in which the learner takes the initiative, with or without help from others, to determine personal learning needs, set personal goals, find learning resources, select and use learning strategies and evaluation tools to suit individual needs.

You become your own learner and teacher. You are the one and only one-person band. Are you ready for this? What do you think?

Watch for more on this topic


One response to “Thoughts on Self-Directed Learning #1

  1. Yes! Yesyesyesyesyes!!!!

    Thank you, Ken. This is one of those posts that goes straight to my heart — and to where I am genealogically speaking. As you know, I’ve been taking courses through NIGS, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and recently I’ve been bouncing land records off a lawyer relative of my husband’s in order to make sure I understand what the documents are telling me. Just last month I signed up to go to Samford for the IGHR week in June. I would love to be able to go to Chicago (it’s an easy drive for me), but I’ll be first entertaining a son and his wife who will be visiting, and then heading off to drive to Birmingham while the NGS conference is progressing. But maybe someday . . .

    The thing that’s important is getting the education wherever and however I can. But I think a person starting out in genealogcy has to experience either the black hole of ‘where do I go from here?’ or the brick wall of ‘did he just turn up under a rock?’ or finding posted information that doesn’t make sense (in my case it was an ancestral file saying my ggggg-grandmother was both her son’s wife and his mother). And then you stop and go, “Wait a minute!” and then you start getting serious about finding out the truth of the matter.

    The education is tremendous. It never stops. And it’s such fun to learn about all the places they went and the people they met, these dead relatives of ours! And besides them, as a result of my improved education, I now have a closet full of ex-ancestors if anyone wants them. Just today I found a home for a few!


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