Self-Directed Learning Community; Join us for a chat!

In this blog post, I am going to give you a quick rundown of a fun conversation Paul and I had over Christmas break. 

We were just getting ready to come back in January after spending time with our respective families! 

In this episode, we talk a little about a lot of things and they vary from AI to mental health. There is a common thread- mostly 🙂 

To begin this chat, I invite Paul to share a practice I use with students at WyldFlower when we do the ending day circle-up. We welcome you to pause and practice our mindful activity at the beginning of the conversation and ponder your own Bloom, Thorn, and Bud. 

One thing you’re celebrating, struggling with, and looking forward to. 

If you would rather listen/watch please feel free to jump in here!
I make a lot of facial expressions…what gives?!

It is here that I share a SUPER adorable story about our amazing teenage students. They really are the best! Paul shares some statistics on how mainstream teenage students typically struggle with the process of reentering school after having a break. 

Heartbreaking data shows that suicide frequency in youth spikes at the end of summer and Christmas vacations as students struggle to deal with the notion of reentering a system that continually causes trauma and a term known as “School wounds.” 

We marvel together as we realize the stark contrast between that reality and our students, who are eager to get back in the space and reconnect with each other and our staff. We see that Self-directed learning has a meaningful and statistically significant impact on our mental health. 

Self-determination theory is on full display as a powerful method for building learning and connections. 

We go on to share with each other what we are currently learning and or listening to. Resources mentioned include Dr. Peter Gray, who is actually going to Zoom in live with us this month and we are over the moon excited! Paul has been listing this and we encourage you to check it out. Dr. Gray does such an amazing job at explaining the benefits of Self-directed learning and its impact on developing humans. 

His books and research have influenced our philosophy and practices in profound ways. WyldFlower would not be the same without his work. We are so grateful to be able to listen in on other podcasts that interview him. We are super grateful for the chance to talk with him ourselves this month!

Eeeeehhh, I’m fan-girling really hard right now!

I share a resource that I have been diving into recently called the Human Restoration Project. It is a really beautiful nonprofit group focused on informing, guiding, and growing a movement toward a progressive, human-centered education system. We are bringing together a network of radical educators who are transforming classrooms across the world.

Check out their work here!

I talk a little about the concept of AI teachers which came up in one of the Human Restoration Project’s youtube videos. At first, the thought blew my mind, and honestly still does. 

But it really made me question what the purpose of education really is. 

If it is about a finite set of skills and the right answers to a standardized curriculum, it actually makes a lot of sense. It makes sense in a really creepy dystopian kind of way…but still. 

Ehg.  Robot teachers turned mascot stuffed animal friend who coerces children into compliance… icky.

kids standing in front of bee mascots
Photo by FOX

It is here, that I believe, we have to look at the individual as an individual with their own spirit and destiny to be discovered rather than a capitalistic cog in an economic engine. 

Is education really just 13 years of job preparation? 

Could it be more about awaking passions, finding a purpose, and encouraging meaningful contributions from one person to the world? 

I think we need to get to the deep down dark and dirt-covered questions that lie at the foundation of the issues rather than the surface-level issues themselves. 

So I’d love to know…

what do you think education is for? 

Is job preparation and the economy at the center of your perspective? Is a compliant and well-behaved culture at the center of all the sit-down, be quiet, listen and follow directions practices we see daily in a standard classroom? 

Is there more to it? 

Again, this is all up for debate and we are in the middle of a conversation 😀 

We go on to bounce between Self-directed learning and mental health before we wrap it up! 

Always a wyld adventure!

Please, join us for this episode of Coffee & Conversations with WyldFlower! Casual and candid- this is less about information transference and more about raw and real.

We hope all your celebrations and holidays were beautiful and we are thankful you are joining us here. 

As always- we wouldn’t be US without YOU! 

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