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Freedom, Autodidacticism, and Learning

Session 4
Joe Bires — Jamesburg School District

Articles and ‘research’ appear that say; ‘not everyone is an autodidact’, ‘some people can’t be autodidactics’. Is autodidacticism a learning style, a state of mind, a set of skills, are their levels to it? Before the fall of the USSR, they said entrepreneurship would not work in Russia, is autodidacticism a kind of entrepreneurship about learning that may be difficult for some schools based on their culture of learning? Is our current system of schooling simply unprepared for autodidacts because they are structured on instruction?

How do we, can we, should we, grow autodidacticism in our own schools among own students? Do the current constructs of differentiated instruction and personalized learning support or limit the ability of our students to operate as autodidacts?

How does autodidacticism influence professional development choices? Doesn’t meaningful professional development change a teacher’s practice; is that kind of change a matter of self-learning? How can classrooms and curriculum facilitate autodidactism?

Since mobile devices, BYOD, and 1-to-1 offer the potential for learner empowerment, how do they offer new opportunities to explore autodidactism in traditional schools?

This will be an exploration of inquiry into questions surrounding autodidactism in K-12.

Conversational Practice

Intro- Quick overview of the topic and introduction of the participants. A Google Doc will be created to document the conversation and all participants will be encouraged to backchannel.

Think/Write- This conversation will begin with an invitation to write a few sentences about what autodidactism means to you?

Share your Writing - each participant will share their writing with another participant with a focus on the how their writings are diverage about their definition of autodidactism.

Text-based Small Group Discussion - All the participants will be invited to read: http://hechingerreport.org/content/ed-tech-promoters-need-understand-us-learn_16821/ Rather than merely discussing the article as a large group, the participants will be split into groups based on interest in the following sub-topics: autodidactism in professional development, autodidactism in our current classrooms, and autodidactism as mindset or skill to grow in learners.

Large Group Sharing- Each group will report back on their small group discussions about the specific topics.

Now what? Participants will create a list of things that they can actually do in their schools and classrooms with their collegians and students around autodidactism based on what they learned.

Conversation Links

Presenter Profiles

Joe Bires
Joe Bires


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