ATTN Parents of Self-Directed Learners

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ATTN Parents of Self-Directed Learners

Postby jim.schoening » Mon May 14, 2012 3:27 pm


I'm a researcher seeking to collaborate with parents of self-directed learners.

Should teens form a 'Society for Certified Self-Directed Learners?'

Employers and colleges want self-directed learners, but how does a teen become one, and then prove it?

The answer may be a professional society for self-directed learners, which would offer certifications to its members who demonstrate this capability.

Who should start and run this society? Teens, who are currently practicing SDL, should do so. They can do it, we can help.

This email seeks parents of teens who are currently practicing some form of SDL, or are willing to start.

After we discuss this further on this thread, parents will discuss it with their teens. Interested teens will create an online forum to explore this topic and see if enough are interested in forming an organization.

If so, they will both build the organizational structure, but also start to share best practices in SDL. Initial certifications will be granted to members who can show a basic learning plan and that they are following it. The requirements can then evolve over time. If this sounds like more work, it will add perhaps 5% more work, but will make the other 95% more productive, for a net savings.

Regarding benefits, teens will:

Become better self-directe learners

Show colleges and employers evidence of this capability

Gain leadership and collaboration skills in building this society

Help new members become self-directed learners

Be part of something exciting, which could become the long-sought-after 'Learning Revolution.'

This will be a teen-run organization, but with appropriate guidance. The only direct guidance will be from parents to their own teens. Parents will form a support organization to develop guidance. Outside researchers (my role), educators, and stakeholders will form multiple groups to offer guidance to the Parent's Forum, or for posting on an open public forum.

What would make this a true Learning Revolution? The key will be if this society can collect valid data to prove its certified members are achieving substantially better results than school students. It will be a little tricky to figure out how to measure this, but I believe SDLs will quickly be able to show twice the learning results. If so, this could indeed be the revolution.

To get rolling, please post your thoughts or questions.

Jim Schoening
My background in this field:
Started and Chaired IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (1996-2000),
Started and Chaired IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology(1999-2000),
Authored American Society for Quality (ASQ) draft standard 25-XX, Self-Directed Lifelong Learning
Published paper, Creating Lifelong Learners through Quality Assurance (2002),

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Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 8:35 am

Sounds like a great idea!

Postby homeschoolmom77 » Sat May 18, 2013 3:53 pm


Thanks for the post. This is a very interesting concept. I do not know if my High Schooler would be considered a 100% self-directed learner. However, they are very good at independently researching subjects that interest them. They are also very skilled at working independently once given an assignment.

Thanks for introducing the discussion and please keep us posted.

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