With another session of BARN starting this Friday, the facilitators skyped today at 8:30 am on a Saturday to prepare (can you tell we LOVE this process?). One of our plans for this Friday is to speak about why we are passionate about BARN. Every year my answer to this question is both the same and different. The reason for this is that there are so many things that I love about BARN it’s almost impossible to list them all, and also the reasons that are most relevant to me right now depend on what is happening in my life at the moment. Today the first thing that comes to mind is the self-study and self-directed nature of this process. I have implemented action research in my classroom for the first time this semester and the results have been as beautiful for teens as they have been for the teacher-researchers that have participated in this process with me for the past four years. My students were able to choose a topic that was relevant and interesting to them and were given the time and space to explore that topic and themselves. They participated in self-reflection and took actions that helped them express their passion for their chosen topic. They learned more about who they are and what they love. Ultimately, as human beings we need to know who we are, what our values are, and what we are passionate about to reach our full potential. As an adult, I know this process can (and probably should) take a life-time to fully explore. I am thrilled that the students in my classroom participated in this important life-long learning with me and each other through action-research. This year I’m most passionate about BARN because I've learned that “knowing yourself is enlightenment”.
Why are you passionate about self-directed learning?