The changes in students’ lives due to the pandemic have been significant. Overnight, students transitioned into remote learning, juggling school work, new technologies, and synchronous learning with family responsibilities and stresses. The students who were most successful were those who exhibited high degrees of self-direction. It was those students who remained committed to and interested in learning, set and followed weekly schedules, focused their attention during synchronous sessions, followed through on assignments, and made steady progress as they invested hard work and effort in “figuring it out.”It is precisely these students who will be ready for a world characterized by rapid change due to social, political, and technological innovation. These self-directed students will recognize the need for up-skilling and retraining required to stay viable in this new workforce where, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, workers will have 11 or more jobs by 48. In virtually every school district mission or vision statement in the United States today there is language proclaiming the importance of creating “life-long learners” or, alternatively, “self-directed learners.” There is wide acceptance of the fact the students today will face a world of rapid change and only those who are able to learn independently and adapt to those changes will thrive in this environment. In recent surveys of business leaders regarding characteristics that are most needed and valued in their employees, the ability to learn on one’s own is always near the top of the list. This ability to set goals, work independently towards the accomplishment of those goals and accurately evaluate the products of their work is referred to as self-direction. But few educators feel well prepared either to identify self-directed behavior in students or to develop it when it does not exist.The good news is that self-direction is malleable in students. With the right learning opportunities and instructional strategies all students can learn to be more self-directed. Students can learn to take control and make important choices about their learning pace and process.
This Self-direction Master Class is designed for teachers, building and district leaders, homeschool parents, and special program educators, who want to learn more about self-direction and how to align their instructional practices to promote and develop self-direction in all students.
The Master Class is designed specifically to:
- help you understand what self-direction is in face-to-face and online education
- provide a research-based understanding of how self-direction impacts learning
- identify and explain instructional strategies that have been proven to develop self-direction in preK-12 students
- provide a rubric to help you understand the continua of student development for the capacity to self-direction
- identify a digital learning framework that helps align technology and digital tools that support and encourage self-direction