I often get asked about tips for helping self-directed learners independently self-direct in the classroom. Teachers commonly enter the world of student-led learning inspired and confident but quickly discover that many of their students are not able to self-direct, and that can be really frustrating.
Your excitement is squashed and you are disappointed because it didn’t unfold the way you expected. So now what? Call it a day and get back to teacher-directed learning? Or mentor and train learners to self-direct effectively? The strategies in this blog post are to encourage you to choose the latter.
I have been an experiential science educator for almost 15 years. I have a background in field ecology but eventually left the career to teach high school science in an experiential classroom, which is where I’ve been for the bulk of my professional life. But what does that mean?
Are you in need of inspiration or examples of project-based learning activities for Earth Day?
Earth Day is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how your students can not only learn about Earth Day and the Earth itself but also examine and act upon the role that they play in keeping a clean and healthy planet.
Project-based learning is a great way to do that. Here are 10 examples of project-based learning activities for Earth Day that challenge your students to protect, conserve, and preserve the Earth for generations to come.
Are you a parent, teacher or student looking for some plant science fair ideas that are easy and engaging for everyone involved?
It doesn't have to be hard, it doesn't have to take a ton of time, and no one has to be a professional scientist or even a trained science teacher to do these plant science experiments and projects.
Check out some of the plant science fair ideas here to make your lives a little easier. Build a plant science experiment or a research project around the ideas offered here while still making them your own!
A student-led learning classroom environment looks different than a traditional learning setting, including the teacher's role.
But what does that look like?
Including self-directed learning in your teaching strategy is invaluable for so many reasons. The benefits of self-directed learning in the classroom far outweigh the costs, and by costs, I mean those concerns that make educators reluctant to have their students design, lead and manage their own learning experiences.
Let’s talk about those concerns, how to squash them, and why to let those concerns go. Let’s look at the benefits of training self-directed learners to design, lead and manage their own learning experiences. You won’t regret it.
So you’re looking for activities for women’s history month, but wonder how you can make them experiential? Women’s history project based learning is the way to go!
There are so many history project based learning activities for Women’s History Month, and I will offer some of those ideas right here in this blog post.
About ten years ago I picked up a book called "Half the Sky". Within the first chapter I read this quote: "More than 100 million women are missing..." at any given time. This is because of trafficking, gendercide, domestic violence, etc. This quote, and this book, really struck me. I mentioned it, and the PBS documentary that goes along with it, to a few of my high school students.
They were interested, largely because many of the issues resonated with them personally. These students led project-based learning experiences on some of the issues and shared their final products with the school community.
What is student-directed learning? This phrase and other variations of the phrase (child-led learning, self-directed learning, student-led learning, etc. etc. etc. ) imply that learning experiences are designed, coordinated, and led by students. Your students are self-directed learners, not passive receivers of information.
Okay, so student-directed learning means that learners lead their own learning experiences, but what does that entail? How can you apply self-directed learning in the classroom or at home, and what are some student-directed learning strategies that you can implement right now?
Let's find out!
This week, my children (5 and 7 years old) focused on climate and how it works. This post offers 5 experiential science weather and climate activities for kids of all ages. My own children and I worked through these activities this week, and those experiences are highlighted in this post along with some modification ideas for older students.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.