How Self-Determined Learning Looks

What’s the working model for all this freedom we were taught we couldn’t handle?

Rules | Governance will be democratic. Students and residents (our term for staff members) will each have one vote in the rule-making body, the School Meeting. Adjudication might happen at the Meeting or by a smaller, directly-elected committee. Students will practice being citizens of democracy. And you know what they say about practice. Find out more in our post about rules:
>>I like democracy, tell me more? [FAQ series: Rules]

Evaluation | There will be no external learning evaluation. When students are interested in fields that lend themselves to certification, we will pursue degrees, likely starting with OpenCourseWare. Building community college transcripts involves evaluation, but at least it will be autonomously sought evaluation. Find out more in our post about evaluation:
>>How will my kid become a doctor? [FAQ series: Evaluation]

Curricula | We will have exclusively self-directed curricula. Every student will direct their own studies. Socializing is critical to self-directed learning; students will associate free of age segregation. Learning will look more like living. It won’t look like busy work. Because it won’t be. Find out more in our post about curricula:
>>What if my kid just watches OneDirection videos on YouTube all day? [FAQ series: Curricula]

Campus | To this point, we could’ve been describing the Sudbury Valley School down in Framingham, founded in the 1960s. Our ideas probably wouldn’t exist without it. We are grateful to it, and we admire it. But we’re bold enough to think we can sprinkle a little collaboration on that model. Sudbury has a respectable respect for boredom. They resist the “impulse to suggest interesting options” so the students can practice the skills of “assessing boredom and trying to address it honestly”. We think this constructs an unnecessary vacuum. Without tools for coercion, facilitating the transfer of interesting options represents reality, which includes the necessity of managing distractions. Cultural transmission manifests as our adult impulse to make suggestions. And collaboration is basically our cultural ideal. Find out more in our post about our campus:
>>What is this place? [FAQ series: Campus]

Collaboration | Accessibility of information facilitates self-directed learning. Collaboration fosters innovation. Social networking merges accessibility of information and collaboration. Since we want self-directed learning to produce serious innovation, we will leverage social networking in a pronounced way. Google, the information accessibility master still working on its mastery of social networking, uses a brilliant collaboration model called Objectives + Key Results (OKRs), designed by John Doerr, and talked about here by Rick Klau. You’ll hear him explain that the metrics produced are not for performance evaluation but for project evaluation. And we think that’s the ultimate utility in an open future where the personal/professional distinction merges into a human’s purpose. Find out more in our post about collaboration:
>>Your answer to learning is a social network? [FAQ series: Collaboration]

Community | We value local immersion as much as we value tech-based learning innovations. To facilitate each and every learning interest that emerges from our student body, we’ll need a bunch of human help in various forms. In the ultimate win-win collaboration, we will demonstrate to local and global business owners, scientists, artists, advocates, and life-livers of all manner will be able to benefit from the creative expertise of our students and the functional range of our campus facilities. Find out more in our post about community:
>>And how much money do you want me to give you? [FAQ series: Community]

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