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

Pre-order for despatch on publication.


Our children are born full of the joy of learning. They explore from the moment they open their eyes, actively seeking to understand and participate in the world. Then, when they reach the age of five, we send them to school. We teach them that learning is competitive, and that success in life is based on doing better than everyone else. We squash their natural curiosity, sociability and desire to play, in order to make them more manageable.

We live in a rapidly changing world. Information is accessible as never before. Yet schools continue to teach as if information is scarce and what matters is how much of it children can repeat in an exam. Over their years of schooling, children's motivation to learn drops dramatically. The enthusiastic five-year-olds become sixteen-year-olds who couldn't care less.

This is not inevitable. We are socialised to believe that school is necessary in order to become educated, but in fact school is a recent innovation in human history. Other ways of learning served our ancestors well. We have forgotten about the diverse ways in which children can learn and succeed.

When our children express their distress about school, the standard response is to diagnose them with special needs or say that they need psychological therapy. But what if we looked at the whole picture? Why do we assume that the children are disordered whilst the schools are fine?

Self-directed education starts with the child, not with a curriculum. It allows children to choose what they learn and when they learn it. There is a growing field of research indicating that children can be entirely self-directed for their school years, and then go onto higher education and a successful adult life.

Self-directed learning has other benefits. It does not compare children and does not use standardised assessments. This means that children with special educational needs are able to flourish in their own time and develop the skills they feel are important. It also enables us to put wellbeing at the centre of education. Self-directed education allows all children to develop the skills they need without feeling like failures.

This book brings together research, theory and practice on learning. It discusses learning theories, theories of motivation, and research into self-directed learning. It includes interviews with influential thinkers in the field and examples from families alongside practical advice.

This essential guide will give you a clear understanding of why self-directed education works, how it works, and what to do to put it into action yourself.

Children'sEducational materialEducationEducation TheoryEducational psychologyEducationEducation TheoryPhilosophy & theory of educationHealth & WellbeingAdvice on the stages of lifeParenting Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publication Date: 04/02/2021 ISBN-13: 9781472145512  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Dr Naomi Fisher is an independent clinical psychologist and EMDR consultant specialising in trauma. As a clinician, she has worked with children with diagnoses of ADHD and ASD, as well as working with adults and children with a wide range of mental health problems. She also has hands-on experience of self-directed education, having raised two children with a home education/self-directed learning approach and in a democractic school environment. She has a long interest in informal education and has worked as a facilitator of drama workshops and outdoor activities. She has run large online support groups for home educators, including moderating and facilitating discussions on a wide range of topics related to self-directed learning. She is a freelance writer with articles published in The Psychologist, Tipping Points, The Green Parent, SEN Magazine, Juno, Margate Mercury, The Local and others. She has written a forthcoming textbook, The Psychology of Mental Health, for OUP.

More books by Naomi Fisher

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