by Catherine Shannon
In my role as Executive Director of Beacon, I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about self-directed learning and how the environment can be such a powerful teacher. Here are some key points I keep coming back to:
TIME: Pause. Life is not a race. Discovery requires time.
MEANING: Youth learn from what they find meaningful. Purpose and motivation follow.
ENVIRONMENT: A non-coercive, supportive environment promotes growth and well-being.
CONNECTION: Young people need respectful, caring adults to mentor, question, and celebrate them. They thrive with peers who aren't competitors.
AUTHENTICITY: The individual, and where they are now, is the starting point.
SIMPLICITY: Reduce distractions and eliminate the unnecessary. A very simple change can make all the difference.