Schools that mainly focus on rote learning, memorization and have a teacher-centered delivery of instruction to class of students are called traditional schools. Most of the traditional schools are time-line based, have an intense schedule that follows a strict curriculum, and summarizes knowledge in the form of grades. The traditional educational system needs a serious reformation. Educating the 21st century needs newer techniques and smarter learning methods. Something that you can learn by yourself. Does the Idea network’s jingle, “IIN, I am from IIN” ring bells? It’s called Autodidactism and it has been around for years.
Autodidactism is self-directed learning and has little or no traditional learning methods. In simpler words, autodidacticism is ‘learning on your own’ or ‘by yourself’ or a ‘self-teacher’. To name a few, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, James Watt were well known autodidacts. It is said that Einstein’s greatest secret for success was his approach to learning. From being a high school dropout to one of the brightest minds of the 20th century, Albert Einstein was the embodiment of autodidactism. He managed to teach himself calculus by the age of 13! The great thing about self-education is that you have complete control over the subject you want to master. It increases productivity and focus because it allows students to engage in studies they are passionate about learning.
Modern day students are autodidacts too, wherein; a huge amount of information is available at their fingertips. The answer to any question is only a Google search away. The pace at which students use Google to find answers to every question will only continue. I’m sure most of us have seen the Youtube tutorials to tie different styles of ties/shoelaces, quick make-up fixes, to solve tech related issues, etc., and by now can certainly relate to the all the DIY tips (Do It Yourself) & Life Saving Hacks that are viral on the Internet!
An initiative by a professor from Stanford university called the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has broken the myths of traditional education systems. Online educational forums like Coursera and Khan Academy are created to provide free educational courses in different streams such as literature, mathematics, biology, medicine, engineering, etc., to anyone who is willing to learn! With online courses made available so easily, you do not have to worry about commuting to college everyday, which can be tiresome. You can schedule your study and instruction time as per your convenience and not vice versa. The price of an online course is much cheaper than the traditional fees.
In conclusion, autodidactism offers many benefits over traditional education and serves more efficiently the purpose of educating students with knowledge. There is enormous potential in self-directed learning and technology plays a crucial role in the evolution of education. So go ahead, explore, experiment and be an Autodidact!