Dr Tyler Thigpen from the Forest School and his team have recently released a report looking at recommendations for transforming practice in schools with a focus on self-directed learning. It is an easy-to-read report with a focus on students thriving and flourishing. While aspects of the report are based on U.S.A data there are some interesting and relevant insights and it is worth a read and the USA data on equity could easily be replaced with relevant Australian data.
“If we want to create a world that is more just and more equitable, we must be cognizant of both our understanding of what this means, and the beliefs, mindsets, knowledge, and skills our young people must develop to be co-creators of this meaning and intent. In other words, we must set a clear vision for both the collective and the individual, and then understand how to foster growth in the direction of that vision.41 Our research suggests the ultimate goal of the movement for self-directed learning is two-fold: 1) to create a more equitable society; and 2) to facilitate learners’ ability to self-identify their interests, and goals, and to have the motivation to pursue such goals, in service of finding their life’s purpose, and therefore uniquely contributing to their community and society as a whole…” page 18.
Pedagogy is the set of theories, practices, beliefs, mindsets, and norms that guide the design of learning environments and experiences. Importantly, self-directed learning pedagogy includes a variety of key beliefs and priorities, some of which challenge the status quo, including:
• learner as leader in the agentic pursuit of learning
• learners as naturally curious and deeply capable
• adult as “guide” or “facilitator” of learning
• a focus on freedom to learn what and when learners choose
• passion and interest as drivers of learning pursuits
• learning as personalized, unique, and holistic—reaching far beyond core academics
• play and unstructured time as exploration and methods for learning • resources as widely available and flexible in use
• learning for the individual and the collective—the world
• creating a safe, constructive space for learners to make decisions and experience—and learn from—the natural consequences of their decisions…pg 23.
Please find the full report here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e386db54376d45a8a76e551/t/5ff48bdb392438636260503e/1609862108655/Self+Directed+Learning+-+A+Landscape+Analysis+-+Final.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1euyLKtIlD9DHuGl4v9AtUpzCB1BAKZJ9NNjLHTqD7ldhkc-wCFMAfSo8
Learning Leader: Innovation