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Changing Our Minds: How children can take control of their own learning

Naomi Fisher

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Philosophy & theory of education

An essential guide, informed by educational theory and personal experience, which presents accessibly the evidence and argument for self-directed learning, getting the child to lead where their curiosity and interests should be developed.

Children are born full of curiosity, eager to participate in the world. They learn as they live, with enthusiasm and joy. Then we send them to school. We stop them from playing and actively exploring their interests, telling them it's more important to sit still and listen. The result is that for many children, their motivation to learn drops dramatically. The joy of the early years is replaced with apathy and anxiety.

This is not inevitable. We are socialised to believe that schooling is synonymous with education, but it's only one approach. Self-directed education puts the child back in control of their learning. This enables children, including those diagnosed with special educational needs, to flourish in their own time and on their own terms. It enables us to put wellbeing at the centre of education.

Changing Our Minds brings together research, theory and practice on learning. It includes interviews with influential thinkers in the field of self-directed education and examples from families alongside practical advice. This essential guide will give you an understanding of why self-directed education makes sense, how it works, and what to do to put it into action yourself.

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