Every year more parents, educators, and young people discover and choose Self-Directed Education (SDE). Parents are learning how trust their children and see them with fresh eyes, educators are boldly stepping outside of the old system to build self-directed learning communities, and young people are leaving conventional schools to follow their own paths.
We’ve created Tipping Points as an extension of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education– a broad brush across the experiences and aspirations for the movement.
One of the key aspirations for the movement is SDE access for all. While we know that people from a wide variety of backgrounds and communities practice SDE, there is a worrying trend of published stories centering the perspectives and experiences of white people. Perpetuating this trend misrepresents the diversity of our movement and accessibility of SDE. It erases history and sidelines many of the current people and projects actively creating a future in which young people are free. With Tipping Points, we are interested in publishing a collection of Self-Directed Education stories that more accurately reflects our movement. But we need your help! We are especially looking for submissions– text, audio, video, and/or images– spotlighting the experiences of Black and Indigenous SDE folks. We also especially encourage youth, disabled folks, and non-US folks to consider sharing stories.
As you encounter the many unique stories of those who are engaging in SDE, we hope you will see that there is not a single “right” way to understand and practice SDE. Certain basic principles are necessary to distinguish SDE from other educational approaches, but the spirit of self-directedness is such that we are free to apply and extend those principles in various ways that make sense for each of us individually.
You may encounter interpretations and expressions of SDE that don’t resonate with you. Keep in mind that these are individual choices and not some kind of “party line.” We encourage our audience to consider each author’s views with an open mind, then “take what you like and leave the rest.” And take a moment to celebrate your freedom to make that choice!
If you are passionate about sharing your SDE experiences with the world, we welcome you to become a contributor to Tipping Points.*