1. How Society Can Foster Self-Directed Learning Allan Collins Northwestern University, Evanston , Ill., USA By Kelly Hingl
2. Questions Addressed
What kind of learning environments should we then try to create?
How do such environments differ from the school-based learning environments we have experienced over the last 200 years?
How do the new technologies enable us to create learning environments that support self-directed learners?
3. Goals: 21 st Century Learners
Self-directed learners are likely to be the clear winners in the 21st century economy.
They will develop deep skills and knowledge, which can pay off in successful careers.
focus on self-directed learning in the context of computer and Web-based learning
As a society we would do well to make it easier for youths to pursue their interests as deeply as possible.
5. Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich 1970
Illich envisioned a world where instead of going to school, youths would be provided with various kinds of educational resources (unrealistic in 1970)
With the development of the Web, his ideas are easier to realize.
He suggested four kinds of resources that could help youths define and achieve their own goals
6. Goal #1 (1970)
Gain access to things or processes used for formal learning
Examples: stored in libraries, rental agencies, laboratories and showrooms like museums and theaters; others can be in daily use in factories, airports or on farms, but made available to students as apprentices or on off-hours
7. Goal #1 (2008)
Create environments to support youths self-directed learning-- determine what topics different youths are passionate about.
The goal should be to identify topics that might serve their future career choices.
8. Goal #2 (1970)
Promote skill exchange
Permit persons to list their skills, the conditions under which they are willing to serve as models for others who want to learn these skills and the addresses at which they can be reached.
9. Goal #2 (2008)
Provide easy-to-access Web resources
This enables students to pursue interests on their own. These resources might include readings at many different levels of difficulty, interactive tutorials and games, frequently asked questions and their answers, and addresses for societies with expertise on the topic.
10. Goal #3 (1970)
a communications network which permits persons to describe the learning activity in which they wish to engage, in the hope of finding a partner for the inquiry.
The goal is to set up groups of children of different ages around those topics that particular children are passionate about.
This would encourage them to learn about their passions much more deeply than they could on their own.
12. Goal #4 (1970)
Reference services to educators at large, who can be listed in a directory giving the addresses and self-descriptions of professionals, paraprofessionals, and freelancers, along with conditions of access to their services
13. Goal #4 (2008)
Online courses provide one avenue for addressing this issue
communities could organize educational programs for youths that bring together community members, such as retired people, with youths to provide the kind of training they seek.
youth education program not only to provide courses for youths, but also to support young people to teach courses about topics, such as making Web pages, that are their passions. Afterschool clubs and summer camps are other venues that might set up courses by youths for other youths.
In the days before the onset of universal schooling, many of our leaders, such asJohn Adams and Abraham Lincoln, were self-directed learners.
In some sense, school robbed youths of the responsibility for directing their own learning.
With the development of new technologies, such as the Web, computers, television and video, youths are gaining the resources to pursue their own learning agendas.
There is probably no learning experience as powerful as when learners decide to learn for themselves.
Self directed learning will have a high payoff in a society that demands that people become active thinkers and learners.
16. Connection to course objectives
The 21st century learner is different than previous learners.
21 st Century Skills
Q: What kind of learning environments should we try to create?
17. Connection to course objectives
Challenges and opportunities facing the 21 st Century learner.
Q: How do such environments differ from the school-based learning environments we have experienced over the last 200 years?
A: Learning doesnt necessarily take place in the classroom with a teacher
18. Connection to course objectives
21 st Century Strategies
Q: How do the new technologies enable us to create learning environments that support self-directed learners?
A: Students follow their passions and connect with others around the world that share that passion.