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.
- Learning comes before education. If there is no learning, then there is no education;
- 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;
- 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;
- The ultimate and highest learning is to learn about one’s life, the so-called Life Education;
- 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;
- Selflearning is the only learning;
- It should be self-evident in selflearning that learning is driven by internal needs and interests, not be external things;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- All learning content should be free. Teachers can charge for the instructions and guidance they provided for other learners;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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;
- 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!