year 0 – pilot math – self-directed

story spinach graphic

a story spinach

share spinach why


bird’s eye view – [actual doc]

pilot math crew

editable syllabus


back to storyboard

or story past





[adding this little section june 2015 – in response to Paul‘s seeking to map out self-directed inquiry in a more formal school setting – the dilemmas of curriculum planning – one of his grids]

if someone (enough one’s) in a (say) district/school where seeking to open up space for self-directed learning.. i’d suggest something along the lines of what we did during this pilot math year (2009). ie:

note: distinguishing with self/kids ongoingly..

  • self-directed learning of a given topic (very difficult to set up structure).. hence grid et al..
  • self-directed learning per curiosity different all together (very difficult to let go of control).

1\ up front, share some editable syllabus/platform as a place for them (kids) to gather/create/share helps with all the topics their school/district is insisting they be tested on and when those tests will be and what they will look like. (w/in that syllabus – our specific grid was for pre-ap alg 2: cyclic grid (shoot looks like it’s gone – shows up for a sec – then off to wikifoundry ads – here’s a jing video that clumsily talks through grid, ie: had units/topics we would be covering – aligned with standards – on left side.. kids and my suggested help to learning in middle and right, ie: student-made tutorials, quizlets, kahn videos, lots of choices.. explained in jing)

2\ give them 100% of class time to organize, work on #1. (which is the self-directed toward given topic)

3\ if #1 and #2 are done well.. they will have a lot of left over time.. with no agenda from the hierarchical above ness of school.. that’s when self-directed learning (aka: learning via whimsy/curiosity) will flourish. what we found – important to do this across a school and/or district.. as if it’s just within one class…left over time will be devoted to the supposed to‘s of other classes. of course – until we get a systemic change.. the left over time will need to be guarded from assumed supposed to’s outside of that particular school/district as well. (which is the self-directed per curiosity part)

perhaps getting kids to do self-directed learning (per curiosty) isn’t really the problem. if the space is free/safe enough.. it’s a natural outcome. perhaps the problem is our letting go of mandates. basics. ness. to bypass self-directed toward topic ness.