Members: Alejandra Quaglia, Marta Nattkemper
“Give children freedom, support their curiosity, let them make choices and watch them experience organic learning that evolves effortlessly.” Amy Harrington*
What if somebody would walk into your classroom and see that every student is engaged, motivated and directing their own learning?
What if they would observe you as a teacher coaching your students individually and helping them expand their goals?
What if they hear your students telling you, “This class is better than breaktime!”
This is a clear example of an ideal classroom situation which all of us teachers wish to follow. Often the barrier for this to happen is our need to be in control of our students’ paths. Sometimes it takes some letting go of teachers’ expectations and allowing students to blossom in ways that they can only determine.
If we want to empower our students to become lifelong learners, they must take ownership of their learning experience. The successful lifelong learner is someone who takes initiative, is independent, persistent, accepts responsibility, views problems as challenges, is capable of self-discipline, has a high degree of curiosity and a strong desire to learn.
We found that self-directed learning deals with the students being owners of their learning goals, paths and strategies that they decide to apply.
For this reason, we decided to carry out a project with Y6 students in which they teach themselves a specific topic developing mastery and assuming complete responsibility for it.
The process started when students were introduced to the project named Maker’s Time. They explored categories such as Augmented Reality, 3D design, Robotics, Science, Music, Crafting, discovered which topics interested them and chose what they wanted to learn.
At the moment their learning is in action. Students are driving their own experience, implementing their own strategies and working independently.
In the next post we will show you some examples of how students are pursuing this engaging learning experience.