Today I had the distinct pleasure to be in Florida visiting a High School that, in partnership with Penn Foster, operates a Hybrid learning model combining online study with teachers and community. Called Fresh Start the program begins with the premise that a student can, in the right setting, regardless of previous experiences (successful or not) drive their own learning, their own pacing and their own success. That indeed these students can bring to life their version of Learning and THPL. That success can be had with 90% of students completing the program when heretofore it was impossible to get any individual success. And that it is their choice (the students), to do what we all want them to do - to get a High School diploma so that they can live productive, self-supporting and fulfilling lives.
And so it got me to thinking that there are a few questions that transcend this example of THPL that we all can benefit from reflecting on:
- When do you decide when it should be your way versus a way that is guided by others and their experience?
- When do you need to find out for yourself how it should be done and that it really does not matter that someone else knows the answer?
- When are you ok with failure that is yours rather than success that is someone else’s? Could it be all the time?
- Might it be that for THPL or any other personal mission that the best learning happens when you drive the learning?
And yes, I am biased, hopefully in a good way, with the point of view that autonomy, self-direction, and choice are essential to happy productive THPL members and happy people. So maybe it is time to let others choose how they want to live and what we should do is to figure out how to enable it – not challenge it. It works brilliantly in Florida due to some very special people – we should take their lead and follow fast. Time is awasting. Yes, Frank Sinatra got it right the reality is that “The record shows, I took the blows – and did it my way!” and I was happy for it.
Loving life, my way