What I Talk About When I Talk About Self-Directed Learning (Part Two)

Bruce L. Smith is Founder and President of Friends of Sudbury Schools. He has staffed at Sudbury schools for almost 20 years and is currently at the Clearview Sudbury School in Austin, TX. Bruce spoke at Houston Sudbury School on Self-directed Learning on Sept. 17, 2016. This post was originally published on Bruce's blog, Write Learning, here. Last week I began a pair of posts on self-directed learning, considering first what it means and looks like, promising in Part Two to explain “why I’ve found Sudbury schooling particularly effective in supporting self-directed learning.” But it’s a tricky thing, explaining self-directed learning. As I said previously, it “doesn’t look like learning

Who Directed What? (part 1)

Bruce L. Smith is Houston Sudbury School's guest speaker this Saturday, September 17, 12:00-1:30pm. This essay was originally published on his blog Write Learning here. We all have things we’re so deeply accustomed to—phrases, habits, routines, etc. —we rarely think about them. And with good reason: without these blinders, or the time we spend on autopilot, the sheer volume of input in our raw experience would overwhelm us to the point of paralysis. However, it’s also quite useful to at least periodically step back and reconsider what we typically take for granted. After nearly two decades of working for Sudbury schools, I’ve written and spoken about self-directed learning so much, it’s eas

OK, So You’re Sort of Like —

After hearing a short explanation of our school’s philosophy, many people understandably try to link it with something already familiar to them. The most frequently mentioned “so-you’re-sort of-likes” are listed below. We have tried to be fair but clear in distinguishing ourselves from other philosophies. However, all the subtleties of these educational models are not laid out and comparisons are not made from every angle. We hope that the explanations below serve to clarify what the Sudbury model is and is not really about. OK, So You’re Sort of Like — — A Montessori School? There are some ways in which the Sudbury model is similar to the Montessori approach. Children in both settings are a

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