Knowledge Engine based on Significant Experiences

 Basic Elements

  • Significant Experiences
    Significant Experiences(SEs) are regarded by us as the basic units of knowledge, like cells in biological creatures. Significant Experiences are like Ray Kurzweil’s “Qualia”(Consciousness Experiences). SEs have self-vote of importance and usefulness vote by others, which are like the weights in biological neural networks.
  • Frames
    The basic relation btw knowledge is “containing”. Frame is the embodiment of such “containing” relation, it constructs life centers at the higher level and is capable to engage in large parallel computation and pattern recognition.
  • Tags
    Tag establish connections btw knowledge (like synapses rewiring)
  • TagTrees
    Tag Tree is to extract out abstract knowledge structure or patterns (we think it is better to use Life Centers instead of patterns) through SEs.
  • WorkingSets
    For a period of time, you can focus on working in a certain WorkingSet, which is a set of tags in KE.
  • Caches
    When working with a lot of SEs, cache helps to store some SE ids temporarily.
  • Folders
    Dynamic folders that retrieve SEs by pre-configured search terms.

 Structured Knowledge on top of SEs

  • Learning Areas
    Learning Area is a large domain of learning, such as Software Programming. It automatically collects your SEs and structured knowledge in an area for knowledge display and discovery.
  • Learning Groups
    Learning Groups are groups of learners who are interested in the same topic of learning. Some users in the group can have some teaching roles.
  • Learning Salons
    Learning activities organized based on knowledge structures from learning groups.
  • Learning Plans
    Regular plans (weekly and monthly) and reviews, together with scheduled reminders, forming good learning habits.
  • Workflows
    Workflows to work with lists of SEs to accomplish learning and thinking processes. Workflows can be shared to spread good learning methods.

 Core functions and beliefs

  • Quick capture of SEs in various contexts
    Quickly note down SEs at the moment without interrupting current work in hands. Various contexts can be automatically appended to the SEs.
  • Quick and flexible display of SEs and knowledge
    Knowledge at your fingertips.
  • Cultivation of self-reflection skills
    Self-reflection makes consciousness grow, from drops of SEs to understanding of the whole.
  • Learning or thinking accomplished through simple editing
    Learning or thinking can be done in layers and steps, so it can be transformed into many short steps of simple editing operations, making it a highly efficient process with minimum thinking. One task a time, zoom in.
  • Workflows helps you learn and think efficiently
    Learning and thinking workflows can be configured and shared.
  • Learning Plans cultivate good learning habits
    Weekly plans, monthly plans, yearly plans. Reviews and stats.
  • Visualization of knowledge and brain
    No Thinking!
  • Smooth transitioning btw learning and teaching. Teach effectively
    Rendering of one’s knowledge and instructing in a finer grain.
  • Generating knowledge of conventional forms smoothly
    wiki, pdf, ppt/slide, blog, book, and so on
  • Powering and transforming various types of knowledge related activities
    Knowledge is flowing in all kinds of activities, and all have “Learning Embedded”.
  • Knowledge needs to be applied, and knowledge is everywhere
    Knowledge formed from KE can be shared to various social networking sites with one click, with url to reference back and interact.

 Ideas behind and Design Concerns/Challenges

  • Engine in the knowledge era
    As the engine in the industrial age powers automobiles, ships, airplanes, and razors, the engine in the knowledge era powers learning, teaching, blog writing, paper publication, book writing, project management and so on.
  • Instill wisdom into the machine from the human crowd
    By taking drops of wisdom from billions of human beings, the machine can have intelligence, like PageRank provides search service by absorbing the wisdom of the crowd.
  • Fragmented Learning
    Fragmented Learning is the truth of real life learning. Learning should never be separated from life and from play. KE makes it easier for everyone to learn while play.
  • Self-Directed Learning or Selflearning
    There is no learning other than Self-Directed Learning or Selflearning.
  • Understanding of Consciousness
    Our understanding of consciousness,how this understanding applies to the design of KE,and similarity with Ray Kurzweil’s PRTM. Briefly,consciousness is hierarchical lists on top of SEs.
  • About tags
    The flexibility of tags and how to manage it. Tag Tree represents abstract knowledge structure, and it can be applied to the KE itself, thus fulfilling a self-reference system.

 Current knowledge produced (in progress)

  • Application of abstract knowledge
    Abstract patterns (life centers) can be extracted from SEs, and these patterns can again be used in various learning areas. Such as Life Framework applied to Learningapplied to Educationapplied to Consciousnessapplied to Soccer. Abstract knowledge can even be applied to the KE itself. For example, you can configure the system root knowledge. Such root knowledge can be applied to your newly generated learning area. KE itself has a lot of internal structure built based on its self-produced knowledge. KE is a self-reference system
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The Elements of a Selflearning Platform

Learning can happen in real life. Learning can also happen in a specially designed learning environment.

No matter whether it is Real Life Learning or artificial learning environment, as for learning, it is essentially about what activities to do and what experiences to generate and how to work with those experiences. Activities (including projects as in project-based learning) and experiences are the life centers in such learning environments (see Life Framework). Regarding activities, it is about interests and playing. Accumulating and reflecting on experiences generated during the playing is what learning is. (People should be able to learn while playing.) Teaching is to provide the map of experiences and immediate feedback to learner-generated experiences. If no teacher, experienced learners can provide part of that function.

Furthermore, being able to choose and navigate freely in those life centers according to one’s own feels are what constitute self-learning. Educators’ responsibility is to provide rich choices and to build up strong life centers that will enable rich interaction and thus free navigation. In other words, Educators’ responsibility is to build up a better playground.

Below we outline basic elements we think can be of a learning environment to make it a Selflearning Platform according to Selflearning Framework.

  • Interest
  • Learning should be driven by intrinsic needs and goals, especially it should be driven by one’s own interests. As learning in real life usually follows this principle naturally, learning in a specially designed environment may not be the case. A Selflearning Platform should be based on learners’ intrinsic needs/goals instead of external ones and learning should be driven by learners’ own interests.

  • First, play with it and know a lot of facts or phenomena
  • Learning in real life naturally starts with first knowing a lot of facts and phenomena of the subject as those are what form one’s interest in the subject. In a specially designed learning environment, learners should be exposed to a large number of facts and phenomena before starting systemic and theoretic learning on it, e.g. learners should first play with the subject sufficiently.

  • Build up personal experiences, repeating the experiences of the master
  • Learning is to accumulate Significant Experiences in various depth and aspects within the space of the field and to reflect on them in order to achieve a coherent understanding of the whole. Masters of the field usually have gone through this process in their years of practice and learning. In a learning environment, the masters can provide their maps of experiences in the field, which learners can view and choose to build up their own relevant experiences. It is also possible for the masters to design the activities/projects for the learners to work on in order to gain relevant experiences. Masters can even provide feedback to specific experiences generated by the learner.

  • Review and reflect on experiences, share and discuss
  • Significant Experiences gained in the activities need to be reviewed and reflected on periodically so a coherent understanding of the whole can be achieved. Social sharing of those experiences or knowledge built with them can be supported and discussions can be formed.

  • Make a change to improve things or improve the environment
  • Being able to make changes to things or environments and improve them is a peacebuilding process in one’s mind. It gives one confidence and calmness. Deep inside everyone lives a craftsman or artist. Furthermore, good learning environments should allow learners to change the learning environment or the learning process itself (or every learner has one’s own learning process). It should also be possible for the learners to contribute the learning material for the subject.

  • Quick and immediate feedback
  • Learning needs quick and immediate feedback. Good environments should be able to provide quick and rich feedback.

  • Share, the social aspect
  • Although learning needs individual work and focus, social learning stimulates one’s interests and provides feedback.

  • Rich activities
  • A good playground for learning should have rich activities for the learners to choose from so it is always easy for learners to find appropriate activities to work on to keep a continuously flat learning curve. Activities are not limited to projects. For example, student-led course-teaching can be a kind of activities. Judiciary committee meeting or school meeting of Sudbury Valley School is also a kind of activities.

Other than those artificial learning environments, real life is naturally a Selflearning Platform. Elements above can be digitized with software and internet to make Real Life Learning a strong Selflearning Platform.

We envision the future learning will be a mix of Real Life Learning and many artificial learning environments.

The environment can be online or having a physical locality, or mixed. It can be a complete and comprehensive environment such as Sudbury Model schools or Summerhill schools, or it can be an environment for learning one specific skill such as software programming or biology.

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  1. 选择一个想要去学习和理解的领域。首先在一个笔记本上写下你对这个领域已知的所有的东西,可以尝试你是否当下就能够达到对这个领域的一个理解模型(如果所知实在有限,不能立即达到一定深度的理解模型也没有关系)。并且每当你关于这个领域学到了新的东西的时候,就添加到那个笔记本上去;
  2. 尝试去教别人这个领域,尤其是教低龄的小孩子。努力用简单的话语去阐释这个领域;
  3. 返工。当你发现你不能够顺畅的阐释这个领域的时候,你应该能够意识到你知识结构里的缺漏,回到你笔记本上的那个模型去继续学习(通过书籍,互联网,做项目等等各种方式);
  4. 回顾和精简。回顾你对这个领域的整体的理解,做进一步的简化,并能够和更多的事实现象和体验连接起来,可以轻松的举例说明你的模型,可以很容易的识别新的现象和问题。不断重复上述过程,不断发现缺漏,弥补缺漏,做整体的回顾和整理,教他人,完善你的理解模型。





知识引擎可以用于实现费曼学习法。知识领域即是在某领域建立理解模型。老师通过知识领域展现自己的领域模型,学生通过知识领域展示自己所学,老师可以对学生的知识领域即领域模型进行评估。知识引擎实现从碎片到系统,再从系统到碎片的自由自主的学习。并且学习者从学到教可以平滑过渡,学生可以无缝接入对课程的建设,打破老师和学生之间的藩篱。并且通过领域建模,实现知识发现,大大的丰富新知识的创造和分享,每个人可以去“研究”自己感兴趣的领域,发掘那个领域的知识,有如美国当下不少大学里流行的”Design your own major”专业,让知识的发现和研究无所不在。


Feynman Technique:

  • Pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Write down everything you know about the topic on a notebook page, and add to that page every time you learn something new about it.
  • Pretend to teach your topic to others, especially to youngesters who are not familar with the topic . Make sure you’re able to explain the topic in simple terms.
  • Go back to the books when you get stuck. The gaps in your knowledge should be obvious. Revisit problem areas until you can explain the topic fully.
  • Simplify and use analogies. Repeat the process while simplifying your language and connecting facts with analogies to help strengthen your understanding.
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Theory of Life Framework


Life Framework derives from my understanding of Christopher Alexander‘s works and my own long time zen practices. Through life centers and degree of life of the whole, we can apply Life Framework to various complex systems to understand life phenomena better, including organization management, society, learning, education, sports like soccer, and ourselves.

Originally there is only one pitch darkness and stillness. Then there is movement. As it moves faster, it splits into many parts, which we can call life centers as life is born from that splitting. Life centers forming life centers, and they compose and interact. In this life system, absolute and relative are manifested at the same time. Absolute is the absolute stillness. It is the thing that never changes. Relative is the relative dynamic evolving process. This process is the activity of living. Life is moving fast, however, the original complete stillness and equality are always here. So we have the phenomena of life, in which equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative. The same, impermanence is the only way for permanence to manifest itself and also have life. Or we can say heaven on earth, life manifests different forms. So even we are separate as life centers, we are not separated.

Play is center interacting with centers. A moving system relies on playing to keep its centers together. As life evolves, feel and consciousness are developed to sense the fun of playing. We can also sense the absolute, e.g. completeness, stillness, equality, permanence, and peacefulness. Life, as a dynamic process, is about playing. However, through true playing, we can also experiences our source, which is the original absolute. If we call play “plus”, then that source of absolute (completeness, stillness, equality, and peacefulness) is the “minus”, which we usually call “love”. We human beings can sense and get awed by the interplay of plus and minus, which we usually call “beauty”. So beauty is the child of play (plus) and love (minus). By being able to sense Play, Love, and Beauty, recognizing them as the peaceful life forces driving the development of life and thus consciously using them as the drives for our own lives, we can go beyond our biological instinct drives, namely survival and reproduction. We can also take such a perspective on human history to view its progress as increasingly being driven by the peaceful force of pursuing fun(play), love and beauty, and to view human history as a history of building a better playground.

So one’s life is about feeling and exploring life centers. In our terms, “life center” is equally the same as “space”. So you can also say one’s life is about feeling and exploring space. Through such feeling and exploring of space, we develop our sense of play, love and beauty. This we can call “art”. So human life is to engage in arts. If we can take this perspective, all our life activities can be coherent, and all our experiences can be put together. Whether you are interested in software programming, management, product design, or playing soccer, they are all arts of playing with life centers, and thus arts of space.

Thus in this interplay of plus and minus, we need to develop our consciousness about ownership and wholeness, and seeing them as a dynamic flowing process of plus and minus interplay, know where one is at a moment. We also need to understand when we know and when we don’t know, and how learning is a process to march from not knowing to knowing. e.g. from one foundation of unification of plus and minus to another foundation of unification of plus and minus, or from one foundation of absolute to another foundation of absolute. From life center perspective, we can also understand perfectly how the learning inside one person is the same as learning in an organization.

If we think humans are with intentions and goals, we can make it our goal to increase degree of life of the whole. Degree of life can be applied to evaluate and compare which systems have more lives. For example, maybe the Python programming language has more life than Java?

As each of us is only a tiny fraction of that whole and we are incomplete and limited, there is such desire to be complete again. Thus come learning and no-learning, choice, separate and connect, thinking and no thinking, feeling, focus… For all these, please read of How Life Framework applied to Learning.

The knowledge about Theory of Life Framework is built up based on my Significant Experiences using Knowledge Engine. For another example of how Knowledge Engine is used for building up knowledge, you can see my summary of my soccer/football experiences.

So above is roughly the content of Life Framework. I composed the article to include various structured knowledge from the Selflearning platform of OSL. I understand it can be very abstract and dry for people first reading it since I went straight to the topics. Below let me add a bit more context to ease the reading. But before that I want to add that you are supposed to click open those links to read them as the content from those links provide a lot more details. Some of them are raw experiences and not refined and polished as you would read in an essay. However, they represent the original Significant Experiences and it is unique of our Selflearning platform to allow people digging into raw experiences. OK, below is some context or background.

For those unfamiliar with Christopher Alexander, if you are programmers you should know design patterns. Design patterns are directly inspired by CA’s Pattern Languages. Even Object Oriented Programming was inspired by CA’s pattern language, although CA personally feel the software world didn’t truly understand his ideas and didn’t use the concept well.

I feel CA moved away from patterns to life centers in his books The Nature of Order. The reason? Maybe I can use Bruce Lee’s words to explain it.

Although Life Framework is just preliminary, I don’t wait to publish it. It is a very lonely process to ride alone, and thus it is good to get some early feedback. Furthermore, our world is moving much faster and more serious dangers looming around. So I feel it is better to share early and share more.

The Knowledge Frames included in this essay:

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Light bulb moments


Significant Experience is the basic unit of knowledge, and it plays core functions in the learning process. But how to learn centered around Significant Experiences can be a bit challenging for people having not much experiences. Below is a simple method to get you started.

When you starting using 3exps this self-learning platform, you can pick a couple of domains (don’t choose too many domains at the beginning, no more than 3) to record your learning experiences in these domains. You can choose what interest you the most, domains that you pay a lot of attention to in your daily life, and wish to keep improve your understanding in that domain. After you have chosen the domains, whenever you had new understanding or feeling in one of those domains, or the light bulb goes on in your head, you quickly capture that understanding or feeling (in, you can note it down as a snippet), and add the domain tag for it. After a period of time, you have accumulated sufficient experiences in a domain, then you can start reviewing them together trying to achieve a better understanding of the whole. This light bulb moment is what we call “Significant Experience”. Hope by this practice, you will soon get the hang of Significant Experience and how you can use center your learning around it. Later we can introduce how to interact with those Significant Experience in rich ways through Knowledge Engine.

A note to new users: after login, you might find the UI quite simple and there seems not much there. It is because we designed the UI to be simple for people to start with by hiding many features away from new users. Also, simple UI help learners focus on their current learning, e.g. to be immersed in it. We expect users to click around and use mouseover here and there to find out more of the site. Learners are supposed to gradually learn how to use deeper features as they progress along.

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Selflearning Frameworks


Here we want to propose to self-directed learning communities to name the new educational frameworks Self-Directed Learning (SDL) frameworks. We realize that there can be many such kind of frameworks, one example being Free Progress Education. Different from Self-Directed Education (SDE), which confines itself to children only, SDL frameworks are for people of all ages so you can use it to guide your building of universities, free schools or kindergartens, or learning centers for all ages including seniors. And Open Source Learning (OSL) aims to support open source software infrastructure for SDL frameworks.

As with software design, many experienced software programmers admit that the most difficult thing in software design is naming. So we propose this name Self-Directed Learning (SDL) frameworks for the communities to consider. Further, we recommend making it shorter as selflearning frameworks, just like how the words “email” or “open source” are used today. If you agree with Donald Knuth, “Think of how many keystrokes you will save in your lifetime if you stop (stop using e-mail and start using email) now!”

p.s. I have proposed to ASDE to consider adopting a more general framework that includes adults as well.

Below is OSL’s version of Selflearning Framework:

Selflearning Framework is a learning framework dramatically different from the current prevailing mainstream education framework, which has only 150 years of history and is strictly class based.

  1. Learning comes before education. If there is no learning, then there is no education;
  2. Playing is the primary activity, learning is the secondary. Without playing, there is no learning. Learning should never be the dominant activity unless when you are talking about life learning/education, which is the ultimate learning one should be engaged in for one’s whole life;
  3. From the above one, it follows naturally that learning should never be separated from playing, from real life, and from communities. People can learn while playing;
  4. The ultimate and highest learning is to learn about one’s life, the so-called Life Education;
  5. One should be able to participate actively in changing one’s environment including one’s learning environment. We have to recognize that being able to do so has a profound impact on one’s learning including the Life Education;
  6. Selflearning is the only learning;
  7. It should be self-evident in selflearning that learning is driven by internal needs and interests, not be external things;
  8. People can learn while playing, as long as they reflect on the rich experiences they gained from playing. And we regard learning as activities to build up a systemic understanding of a domain, knowledge is built on top of experiences, in an effort to achieve a better wholly understanding of a domain;
  9. Thus it follows that learning of anything can be learning, as long as one is able to reflect one’s experiences and build up a wholly understanding on a domain and present it to others. Learning should not be compulsory;
  10. Everyone can be a teacher. The barrier to teaching should be low. It should be easy for people who truly possess the knowledge to teach and they should be able to teach in their spare time without giving up their professions. Everyone should be teaching the knowledge of his own. It can be any topic, as long as he discovered himself and with his own understanding;
  11. All learning content should be free. Teachers can charge for the instructions and guidance they provided for other learners;
  12. Teaching should be based on experiences. Everyone is equal, just people have different experiences. Since everyone is a selflearner, learning based on his experiences, everyone can become a teacher if he has accumulated enough experiences and has built up well-structured knowledge. And one further improves one’s learning by teaching;
  13. There are no exams. Everyone and every organization should learn how to evaluate candidates without test scores. And modern society, powered by the internet should be able to provide rich means to help evaluation including candidates’ self-reflected learning experiences and knowledge built on top. Everyone should have a personal online portfolio to demonstrate one’s past works, learning experiences, and knowledge accumulated.
  14. Not just individuals, every organization should carry out its educational responsibility, becoming a learning center of its domain, sharing with the public its systemic knowledge, providing opportunities like internship, apprenticeship, open labs to the public, educating the public its domain knowledge. For example, hospitals should educate the public about healthcare knowledge, law firms should educate the public knowledge of law, news agencies should educate the public knowledge about news;
  15. So it is self-evident from above that learning/education is not just children or young people’s responsibility. Everyone is self-learner, everyone can become a teacher!

Here we reiterate the mission of Open Source Learning: We are all self-learners! Make self-learning easier!

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2017 Yearly Summary of Learning


As now is right the New Year Eve. Seeing many friends sharing their summaries of 2017 reminds me of doing the same. However, usually I treat the end of the solar calendar year as the beginning of the summary process and try to allocate some time to keep doing it until the end of the lunar calendar year. So here is the start of that summary process.

So first this is the stat of my learning in 2017:

At the top section, the Top 100 tags are the most used tags in my personal notebook for all the years. So with a glimpse, you pretty much can see areas I have been mostly working on.

Leon’s learning stat for 2017

The second section is my learning for the past 5 years. The data is listed as a table to compare each year so you can see the number of each type of notes made for that year. And you can also see the sum of self-ranked importance for each type of notes and the mean value. One interesting thing you might notice that the numbers have some consistence over years. For example, each type of notes roughly has the same magnitude of number across different years, and snippets always have the highest number of notes and the highest value of importance. That is understandable since snippet is the major type of notes used to capture Significant Experiences. Comparing the data across different years can give a big picture of that year’s learning and focus.

Top 20 tags for each year and new tags for each year offer allow you to understand each year’s learning through the tags perspective.

So the learning statistic page gives you a quick summary of this year’s learning and you can compare and see how this year has differed from previous years. The statistic page is still in the early experimental stage. We shall see what more can be added there. Do you have any suggestions? What do you want to see?

So after this quick review, more work is needed to summarize this year’s learning. For example, you can only view this year(2017)’s notes, and order them by importance. By viewing the most important ones, you can get a quick review of this year’s important learning. And you can also follow some existing workflow to work on your notes of this year by simple editing operations. In the following days and weeks, as I progress in the summary process, I hope to write more of how these can be done. I have written once some of this process before. But this time using the notebook I want to demonstrate this process dynamically online and hopefully make them into a pattern of workflows that can be shared.

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How to collaborate and contribute with the learning group

Here is a demo usage of how the Knowledge Engine can be used to allow exploratory and collaborative learning for a group.

Recently responding to a post of SDE forum, I did a quick compiling of SDE’s resources based on alternativestoschool

So here you can view Democratic Schools:

And here for Learning Co-ops:

What I did:
I set up a group named Self-Directed Education, and all resources collected with the official tags of the group (currently: sde, Democratic Schools, Learning Co-ops) by its members are pushed directly to this group. Then these resources can be viewed through tags or queries like above.
As this screenshot shows, you can view by official tags, or other related tags. Search function is provided. So it is easy to search resources within a location, for example.

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I remember Mimsy Sadofsky, one of the founders of Sudbury Valley School(SVS) once told vividly how she felt “conversation” as one major characteristic that made SVS different from other schools. From her telling, conversations are everywhere in SVS, and they happen on different levels in various ways. I had the fortune to listen in those conversations during my visit to SVS (SVS has even a special room just for conversations. There is a big table at the center, and people interested in having conversations with others can come to this room. And you can also see that at SVS, conversations are happening all the time at various places. People are constantly having exchange of ideas and feelings.) The topics of these conversations are quite diverse covering a very wide range, and quite spontaneous in nature as well. The students at SVS are pretty good at conversing, such as expressing their personal experiences when talking about things like various kinds of coffee or cheese, or provide analysis from multiple perspectives when discussing political topics such as funding for the presidential election. From my observation, I feel these students’ skills in conversations are at lease equal to average college students in US. Peter Gray, the famed psychology professor and advocate of Sudbury Model and Self-Directed Education, has summarized this very nicely:

“Much of the students’ exploration at the school, especially that of the adolescents, takes place through conversations. Students talk about everything imaginable, with each other and with staff members, and through such talk they are exposed to a huge range of ideas and arguments. Because nobody is an official authority, everything that is said and heard in conversation is understood as something to think about, not as dogma to memorize or feed back on a test. Conversation, unlike memorizing material for a test, stimulates the intellect. The great Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky argued, long ago, that conversation is the foundation for higher thought; and my observations of students at Sudbury Valley convince me that he was right. Thought is internalized conversation; external conversation, with other people, gets it started.”


Grace Llewellyn, the founder of Not Back to School Camp, manifested very well her understanding on equal conversations with children when answering questions during her AMA session on the forum.(

For example, regarding kids’ game playing:

“I love your idea of honest conversation and I would encourage going into that with lots of depth and nuance. Share your concerns and thoughts, identify the ones you think may be more reactive than wise, ask his perspective — really draw him out (he may have his own inner conversation going on, with multiple perspectives), together create some kind of initial agreement that everyone can live with; pay attention; make it an ongoing conversation and adjust the agreement as needed.”

“being around others who are using this process may inspire your son to bring more attention to his own choices. That doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily make different choices than he is now, but simply by interacting consciously with intention itself, he’ll grow in self-awareness. Ultimately, this will help him increasingly shape his actions around what he most values.”

“The way we articulate our hopes for our future selves (“goals”), the choices we make moment to moment, and the evolving relationship between these two parts of our lives — this stuff is just huge. It’s at the core of self-directed learning, and at the core of crafting a satisfying adult life. As long as a person engages it consciously, this relationship does evolve.”

“In some families, there are deeper issues in the way that must be resolved before such conversations can take place. Trust may need to deepen before everyone (especially but not only the kids) knows they can freely and fully share their perspectives without being shut down.”

Just from these quoted above, I think you can have a taste of Grace Llewellyn
‘s deep understanding on equal conversation. I think you can find such understanding in her books, her websites and projects too, and it would be a great learning if you dive into them. No wonder she is able to lead such an invigorating and inspiring unschooling movement.

Just as Grace Llewellyn said, equal conversation is at the heart of Self-Directed Education, and it is the basic learning skill one should possess. From my understanding, one of the magical power of book reading is to cultivate the reader’s skills in equal conversation because reading is to engage conversations with the authors as the authors express their life experiences. Reading many different books is like have conversations with different authors life experiences.

Life comes from diversity. Having equal conversations is to take in nutritions from various lives, which is what we call learning or growth of one’s life.

Many of us studied for many years in conventional schools, and have never learned habit of reading or skills of equal conversation, which is the most basic learning skill. What else can testify more of the failure of this old school system? If you want to know what is real education, we have the Self-Directed Education for you to contemplate with. Take a look at how the SDE children are learning might be an inspiring experience for you.

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Volunteers needed

Open Source Learning has applied to be the local group of ASDE. We need a couple of volunteers to help this effort. You can be at any city of China serving needs of people of your city. If you are interested and want to volunteer, please let me know: sys @ or leave a comment.

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