“Creating Autonomy-Supportive Learning Environments”

Originally posted in our November 2023 Top of Mind Newsletter.

Over the last decade or so, the role of autonomous learning in the classroom has been a subject of much discussion. But we often fail to consider the conditions that lead to this sense of control and choice that we want to see in our students. Long-time followers of ELI’s work will recognize that we are huge advocates for self-directed (autonomous) learning.

Enter the work of Jon Stolk, who gave a TEDx Talk in which he delves into the pivotal conditions needed to foster autonomy in the classroom. While Stolk’s discussion doesn’t explicitly touch on entrepreneurship, his thesis aligns with our goal of creating more entrepreneurial learners. Stolk quotes Carl Rogers’s Freedom to Learn, where he says, “The student cannot be trusted with [their] own learning,” saying that this was once an implicit, now explicit assumption of modern education. But how can we combat this trend, which is truly antithetical to autonomous learning?

One way is to provide our students (and teachers!) with real tools, real choice, and real trust.

Watch the video below to see how Stolk is advocating for autonomy-support structures in our education systems.

Find Real Autonomy