Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person, as opposed to learning in a school setting or from a full-time tutor or mentor.
The word "Autodidacticism" finds its origin in "Didacticism", an artistic philosophy of education.
A person may become an autodidact at nearly any point in his or her life. While some may have been educated in a conventional manner in a particular field, they may choose to educate themselves in other, often unrelated areas.
Self-teaching and self-directed learning are not necessarily lonely processes. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time in libraries or on educational websites. Many, according to their plan for learning, avail themselves of instruction from family members, friends, or other associates, although strictly speaking this might not be considered autodidactic, unless the emphasis is placed on collecting specific information as opposed to being guided in a general course of study by a teacher figure.
The term "self-taught" is something of a journalistic trope these days, and is often used to signify "non-traditionally educated", which is entirely different, as the flow of information and its focus is usually governed by the teacher or educational source and not the student.
Inquiry into autodidacticism has implications for learning theory, educational research, educational philosophy, and educational psychology