How Self-Determined Learning Works

We send our children to school to: (fill in the blank).

Fill in the blank. A preferred question format among students of all ages. But of course it has nothing on good old true/false, which requires even less original thought and offers even better odds at being correct.

And that right there is why we disagree with our education system. It replaces our instinctive motivation of curiosity and autonomy with the desire to seek rewards. Worse, it undermines our creative and problem solving abilities. Forward thinkers across varying cultural and economic circumstances have shared the concern that traditional schooling limits human learning throughout its short history.

But this is uniquely problematic in a freedom-loving information-facilitating economy. In limiting human learning, traditional schooling limits the economic value of intelligence and collaboration. Worse, it limits the cultural values of empathy and empowerment.

As technology facilitates the potential for freedom to optimize learning, traditional schooling falls farther behind. So if your answer to our question was something like “prepare them for the future”, we’ve got some work to do.

If you’re new to rethinking education, Sir Ken Robinson will get you caught up:

Our ongoing survey of literature indicates that self-direction and socialization optimize human learning. This is hardly a new idea. In a sense, it’s probably literally the oldest human idea. But there’s a lot of new data backing it up, so hang with us. Find out more about our design for education, and be our friend:

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