Self-Directed Learning Through A Culture Of “Can”
The long-term output of any school should be not just proficient students, but enabled learners. An “enabled” learner can grasp macro views, uncover micro details, ask questions, plan for new knowledge and transfer thinking across divergent circumstances. This doesn’t happen by content “knowledge holding,” or even by the fire of enthusiasm, but by setting a tone for learning that suggests possibility, and by creating a culture of can.
First, it’s important to realize that a “culture” is comprised of tangible factors (students) and intangible factors (curiosity). It is also ever-present — it exists whether or not we as educators acknowledge it. It precedes formal learning and will last long after that formal learning experience has passed.
If a learner is develop a sense of can, he or she must learn it.
While some students have more natural confidence or initiative than others, can is slightly different than confidence. Can is a mix of knowledge and self-efficacy that has been nurtured through experience — by consistently meeting both internally and externally created goals judged by standards that are also both internally and externally drawn.
So how does this happen? Where does it come from?