SELF-DIRECTED learning in HIGH SCHOOL
WyldFlower Learning Community is a unique and personalized educational environment that places a strong emphasis on self-directed learning. This approach to education is implemented throughout the school, from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade.
Today, we are going to focus on our high school program known as Pathways.
At WyldFlower, every student is recognized as an individual with unique interests, goals, and aspirations. The Pathways program is designed to help students explore and pursue these interests in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them. With three different Pathways to choose from, students can tailor their education to fit their specific needs and goals.
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The first Pathway is for students who want to enter the workforce directly after high school. WyldFlower provides a practical and tangible education that emphasizes work skills, recognizing that not all students choose to pursue higher education right away. This Pathway ensures that students have the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce.
For students passionate about travel and adventure, the second Pathway offers the opportunity to explore the world and continue to explore themselves. WyldFlower recognizes the importance of history, geography, and practical workforce skills for these students to be successful wherever they find themselves. This Pathway ensures that they have the necessary skills to be successful in whatever they choose to do.WyldFlower provides structure and support for this option, recognizing that this can be an essential and beautiful process for students to go through.
For students who choose to pursue further education or training after high school, WyldFlower provides the necessary support to make their dreams a reality. With 82 percent of graduates from a self-directed learning environment pursuing higher education and 91 percent of “lifers” (students who have spent their entire educational career in a self-directed learning environment) pursuing higher ed, self-directed learning has a proven track record of success.
At WyldFlower, the focus is not on teaching what knowledge will be hypothetically needed in the future, but instead, on turning out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they can learn whatever is needed. Personalized learning plans are essential for this approach. Students collaborate with staff regularly to go through check-ins that include conversations about progress and reviewing personal goals. This ensures that students have exactly what they need and that they understand the process and the steps involved in pursuing their dreams.
One of the highlights of WyldFlower’s high school program is the Capstone project, which provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the next step in their adult lives. To complete the project, students must write a comprehensive essay covering several areas, including a description of themselves, their involvement in committees and clubs, their chosen learning opportunities, their academic proficiency, and their future aspirations.
A critical part of WyldFlower is our management system and self-governing process. This allows students to showcase their leadership abilities, community involvement, and personal development. Pathways students are required to be involved with these systems, and the Capstone provides a space for their contributions to the school to be documented.
To ensure the quality of the Capstone project, a board of advisors, including staff members and experts in the field, evaluates the essay and provides feedback. At the evaluation meeting, the student presents their work and responds to questions from the board. This process supports the student, celebrates their accomplishments, and prepares them for the challenges of the adult world. WyldFlower believes in nurturing students’ autonomy and strength by allowing them to make their own decisions and avoid conforming to arbitrary standards.
In addition to the Pathways program and Capstone project, WyldFlower offers students access to dual enrollment programs, allowing them to take classes at Sheridan’s community college. This enables students to earn college and high school credits simultaneously.
In addition to the Capstone project, WyldFlower also offers a range of extracurricular activities and clubs to help students explore their interests and passions. Students can participate in offerings and activities such as environmental, robotics, and music clubs, as well as outdoor education programs, such as rock climbing, hiking, and skiing. These activities help students to build strong relationships with peers who share similar interests, providing them with a sense of community and belonging.
One of the key features of WyldFlower’s approach to education is personalized learning plans. During regularly scheduled meetings with students, teaching staff support their students and help to ensure that students have exactly what they need and that they understand the process and the steps involved in pursuing their dreams. These personalized learning plans allow students to take ownership of their education and co-create a roadmap for achieving their goals.
Another important aspect of WyldFlower’s approach to education is the emphasis on real-world skills. The school recognizes that not all students will choose to pursue higher education after high school and therefore provides a tangible and practical education that emphasizes work skills. Students practice real-world skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication, which are essential for success in any career.
WyldFlower Learning Community’s Pathways program is an innovative and personalized approach to high school education that emphasizes self-directed learning and enables students to pursue their goals. Whether students want to enter the workforce, explore the world, or pursue further education or training, their high school experience at WyldFlower provides the necessary structure and support to help them achieve their goals. The school’s emphasis on personalized learning plans, real-world skills, and extracurricular activities helps students to become lifelong learners and prepares them for success in whatever path they choose to pursue. WyldFlower’s approach to education is a refreshing departure from traditional models and provides a blueprint for the future of education.