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What is Self-Directed Schooling?
Self-Directed Schooling redefines what it means 'to learn'
from a PASSIVE to an ACTIVE experience.
Balancing Efficiency and Autonomy.
The traditional model is focused on consistent rate of learning, regardless of an individual's interest or development.
This places students in a position where compliance (task completion) becomes equally, if not more, important than conceptual mastery of topics.
Some students find interest in mandated topics and have the support and guidance to balance compliance and mastery over time.
However, too many students come to rely so heavily on compliance that conceptual mastery is no longer their focus for learning.
Shifting what school is . . . to what it ought to be.
The self-directed schooling model promotes a stronger sense of autonomy in contrast to the traditional compliance-based model.
Learning is focused on metacognition and collaboration more than it is on required content. Students are mentored socially and emotionally as they choose to learn based on both interest and a range of developmentally appropriate skill and concept progressions.
Assessment of learning is based on student communication of topic mastery and is translated to a standards-based reporting structure to guide student-teacher monitoring of skill and concept progressions.
Benefits of Self-Directed Schooling:
Use existing school structures
Maintain existing services to community
Improve existing academic philosophy
Transitioning looks at what is working . . . and goes from there.
Initial Teacher Surveys looks at the current practices in place and celebrates what is important to individual teachers in their classrooms, while simultaneously identifying individual willingness to adapt to new practices over time, with support, in context of existing practices.
The Pilot Program seeks to coach habits of self-reflection in a group of teachers while also hosting weekly soundboard sessions designed to celebrate what is already working so well in their classroom over time. The weekly soundboard sessions are remote and digital, allowing individual teachers to schedule soundboard sessions to fit their own schedules.
The ongoing observation and feedback of teacher self-reflection includes modules which introduce elements of the Self-Directed Schooling framework. This allows teachers to reflect and openly and safely discuss their own strengths as well as the obstacles they face each week.
Student Surveys are also incorporated into this program. Students of participating teachers are first asked to reflect on their own learning preferences based on the Self-Directed Schooling framework. This helps participating teachers connect their own beliefs about each element in this framework to that of their students. Students are then asked to reflect on their current learning strategies while simultaneously identifying student willingness to adapt to new practices over time. This helps to inform teachers which student learning strategies are in place, which are not, and which may need to be explicitly instructed based on each teacher's development of the metacognitive and collaborative practices related to a Self-Directed Schooling approach.
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