The Canadian Coalition for Self-Directed Learning is an organization of secondary schools throughout Canada that are dedicated to the personalization of learning which takes into account individual student characteristics, talents, interests and academic backgrounds. CCSDL schools believe that learning flourishes in an environment where the learner is able to control and direct their learning. Although each school is unique, there are some common fundamental practices that describe a self-directed school. These fundamental practices are found in all member schools of the coalition.
CCSDL FUNDAMENTAL PRACTICES
- Teacher Advisement:
The single most important relationship between student and teacher is embodied in the teacher advisor program. Teachers serve as coaches, mentors, facilitators and guides and stress collaboration and high expectations.
- Flexible Scheduling:
CCSDL schools utilize various scheduling approaches. However, flexibility in the use of time is integral to each school and permits students to control and direct their learning.
- Personalized Programming:
Students are presented choices in how they approach learning activities, which allow them to organize their learning in a way, which personalizes their learning experiences.
- Collaborative Teaching Environment:
Teachers develop learning experiences and assessments in a collaborative and professional environment. Team planning and cooperative delivery are essential components in self-paced schools.
- Interactive Learning Environment:
In a student centered environment, there is a focus on active learning, reflection and collaboration.
- Diagnosis of Student Developmental Characteristics:
Personalized instruction begins with an analysis of learning styles, prior knowledge and skills in order to build a learning environment suited to the aptitudes, interests and needs of each student.
- Authentic Assessment:
Educators support assessment strategies which encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a variety of forms in order to support the improvement of learning and as a means to assess the learning.
- Continuous Progress:
Students learn in different ways and at different rates and each student is at a different place in the learning continuum. The process of continuous progress is one of accountability involving the student, parent and teacher advisor developing a plan to meet the needs of the learner leading to successful completion of secondary school.
- Mastery Learning:
CCSDL schools believe that it is important that students learn well and to this end, learning activities are developed in manageable units which require the student to demonstrate mastery of the material before progressing in their course work.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CCSDL
The purpose of the organization is to promote within, and externally, an understanding of each member school?s program and culture fostering a knowledge of self-directed learning. Using the strength of our varied geographic locations our educational experiences and the uniqueness of our member schools programs we will disseminate information and promote self-directed learning.
Through a collaborative approach to professional development, member schools are encouraged to undertake joint projects, which will allow us to learn from each other. This supportive approach will assist members to address common concerns and seek solutions which will be of benefit.
Members of the organization will enhance self-directed learning through periodic review of the founding principles, research, current and best practices and utilizing the skills of the membership to enhance the model.
Member schools will serve as a resource to those groups who are interested in learning about self-directed instruction and will, where applicable, assist schools wishing to undertake self-paced, self-directed learning.
MEMBERSHIP IN THE CCSDL
Partner schools are those which support and have implemented the practices and values of the CCSDL. Representatives from the partner schools will form the directorate of the CCSDL.
Associate schools are those schools that support an educational philosophy/program based on a partial implementation of the practices and values of the CCSDL.
DIRECTORATE OF THE CCSDL
- Consist of representatives from the partner schools
- Will determine the location of meetings and conference sites
- Will determine membership status of interested schools
- Will determine the direction of the organization
Interested parties may contact the principal of one of the partner schools.