Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Not Listed

Committee Chair

Ugur Kale

Committee Co-Chair

Denise Lindstrom

Committee Member

John Oughton

Committee Member

Marjorie Darrah


The collective increase of learner-centered teaching and substantial technology use in the classroom has given instructors potential opportunities to support students in developing lifelong learning skills. The ability to manage one’s own learning is an essential skill for lifelong learners in today’s workforce. Heutagogy, or self-determined learning, suggests that individuals have agency with respect to how, what, and when they learn. Heutagogy provides a framework for making the most of these developments, drawing on established learner-centered education theories. The key principles of heutagogy provide a foundation for designing and developing learning environments using social media. In order for teachers to create learning environment that have opportunities for heutagogical learning, it is imperative that teachers successfully practice these methods themselves.

It is generally assumed that effective teacher professional development is critical to effective educational improvements and reforms of educational institutions. However, traditional teacher professional development is constrained by time and space. An alternative form of teacher professional development is needed for continual growth and development. Through the theory of heutagogy and the learner-centered pedagogies on which the theory is founded, this research project seeks to contribute to the understanding of the role of social media in supporting the development of teachers’ self-determined learning practices. In particular, this study aims to examine teachers’ perceptions of using social media for professional development, and show how teachers apply self-determined learning for professional development within these social media environments.