“Oh, my students are all self-directed learners!” Mr. Simpson beamed. “They all choose to do exactly what I say.” I smile. I have heard this point time and again from my colleague. I don’t buy it. I have seen too many examples of profound self-directed learning from pre-kindergarten up to graduate school and beyond to accept his opinion. THE SELF-DIRECTED LEARNER LABEL So what do I think it takes to earn the self-directed learner label in today’s classroom? That requires a change in the classroom culture and a switch from teachers like Mr. S who rely on fear and punishment so that students depend on them as sole sources of wisdom-- to teachers who build a climate of mutual trust and respec

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