Self-Directed Learning for Gifted Students

Taking the initiative to design one’s own learning may be the ultimate educational experience and can be used with homeschoolers, in the classroom, or independent of any school environment.

Directing one’s own curriculum as a child becomes the basis for lifelong learning as an adult. It opens the door to pursuing subjects and activities that are personally interesting. Passions develop because one is able to choose the content and the timeline. The topic may or may not be a traditional academic subject: both are valuable.

In a typical school situation, students are told what to study and they are given timelines for accomplishing specific tasks. While this traditional method builds many skills and can produce a lot of knowledge, young person may only learn to do what she is told and not learn to love learning for learning’s sake. Parents and teachers can encourage young people to walk down the path of passion.

Resources for self-directed learning include:
  • Self-Directed Learning—This site provides ideas for teaching self-directed learning and for becoming a self-directed learner. It also includes articles, archived newsletters, and links to other helpful websites.
  • Self-Directed Learning—This article includes an explanation of self-directed learning, lists its benefits, and discusses what teachers can do to help the process.
  • The International Society for Self-Directed Learning —For those who really want to study the concept of self-directed learning. Here you will find back issues of this organization's journal.

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