Many (most) readers of this IAE Blog entry are able to decide for themselves what they want to learn and how they want to use what they learn. They routinely act as independent, self-motivated, self-directed learners. This is rather amazing, since our educational system is so strongly oriented toward students learning what they are told to learn, using processes and aids provided by teachers, and being assessed by a system that cares little about the specific interests and goals of the students.
In essence, our educational system promotes a form of learned helplessness as contrasted with students being able to make decisions about what they want to learn and how to learn it. See http://iae-pedia.org/Learned_Helplessness.