Self-Directed learning for teensSat Nov 10, 2012 Miss Vicky
So apparently Ottawa is getting a few new high schools - 3, according to this CBC piece. One of Kitchicoo's co-founders is part of this project, Compass Centre for Self-Directed Learning, which opens in January in the Bronson Centre. It's not high school per se - that is, the students would be considered home schoolers, and the outcome is not a diploma.
Basically the idea is to tap into teens' innate desire to learn by giving them the responsibility for their own learning. The tools and resources are there - the kids decide for themselves what they want to do with it. It's an interesting proposal, especially for those kids who may not fit with traditional learning models, who might be at risk of dropping out - or who have already and need a route back to learning so they can prepare themselves for better future careers.
The (non-profit) centre is holding a promotional launch tomorrow (Sunday, November 11), 7pm at the Bronson Centre. You'll be able to hear from those who've been through a similar program in the US - a program called North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens, which has been operating successfully for 16 years.
If you can't make the launch, the Compass website has some promotional videos with testimonials about the approach.
Speaking as someone who had a rough time in high school and ended up leaving early (to go to University, but that's a whole other story involving some kind of mysterious luck), I can see the appeal of this kind of approach, especially for kids and families who feel they've exhausted all the options.