Posted 2022-06-23

Optimizing Conditions for Self-Directed Education
Plus: Summer SDE Events

Happy June, All!

This past week we posted on our social media about the Optimizing Conditions for Self-Directed Education, as defined by ASDE. We want to share them here, and also share a bit about the feedback and ideas that we got in response.

Just a note that the single line description doesn’t capture the nuance of each condition, so check out the full descriptions on our website for more details.

Self-Directed Education works best when the following conditions are present...

Responsibility: Social expectation (and reality) that education is children’s responsibility.

Unlimited Time to Play: Unlimited time to play, explore, and pursue one’s own interests.

Tools of the Culture: Opportunity to play with the tools of the culture.

Free Age-Mixing: Free age-mixing among people of all ages.

Community: Immersion in a stable, supportive, respectful community.

Adult Allies: Access to a variety of adults committed to young people’s rights.

Optimizing Conditions Feedback

All feedback is shared with consent.

Tools of the Culture
“The culture slide made me question whose culture and who determines which culture and whose tools are centered? I’m a big fan of learning tools of our modern culture, like using computer technology, being able to read books that give us information we seek, etc. But I’m also a big fan of supporting kids in getting practice in using the tools of their home culture which may be very different and, in fact, demonized or frowned upon by the modern culture. Maybe adding a word or two to highlight both modern and home culture might help?”

“I’m curious about the idea of responsibility. I hear that used so often to mean that we have expectations that kids will do this or that. As in ‘it’s your responsibility.’ I’m imagining that the context here means to specify that it’s not the adults responsibility to control what the child is doing. It’s just that the word responsibility does come with some loaded connotations for me so I was curious about how it’s being used in this context.”

Additional conditions
“I am starting to believe more and more in the power of attachment (attachment might not be the exact word) based on Neufeld and Maté’s Hold on to you Kids. So here the one condition that I would add would be playing with one’s kid (playing what the kid chooses to play) or spending positive time with them. Other than that, I really appreciate what you have.”

“Maybe ‘connection?’ I expect maybe the idea of “connection” and “belonging” would fit under the “community”. ? Maybe. (I agree the connection is very important)”

What do you all think? Do you have comments on this feedback, additional feedback, or ideas to add? Feel free to respond to this email or head over to our Instagram or Facebook accounts to share your thoughts.


Lots of events coming up this summer, including...

Agile Learning Facilitator Summer Trainings in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Sacramento, CA, and Charlotte, NC. Dates Vary. See more info about all ALC Network trainings here.

2022 Education Transformation Jam. Online event. July 17th-22nd.
The YES! Education Transformation Jam (Ed Jam, for short) is a unique gathering for folks engaged in education. We bring together about 30 leaders and visionaries from across the oft-divided education world: public, private, independent, and charter schools, unschooling, homeschooling, learning communities, youth empowerment, youth activism, leadership development, adult education, early childhood, community college and higher education, and more.

Intro to Liberated Learners Webinar. Online event. Monday, July 18th.
For those who love working with young people but dislike teaching in school. There IS a better way, and it might be the right way for you to become the positive force for youth you’ve wanted to be. Learn how to re-imagine education and create the kind of learning environment where you’d actually enjoy spending your time. Find out more in our introductory webinar!

Summerhill Festival of Childhood. Suffolk, UK. August 5-10th.
Celebrating childhood and 100 years of Summerhill school. Unite around equality, individuality, free play, imagination, creativity, self-discovery, wellbeing, democracy and community.

To see the list of events as they are updated (or to post your own) check out our Resource Directory event listings.

The ASDE Organizing Team

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