Thoughts on Self-Directed Learning in Medical Schools: Making Students More Responsible, published at Johns Hopkins University, broadly defines Self-Directed Learning (SDL). The authors stress the importance of having the ability to teach oneself and to not continuously require direction from teachers. I found this article to be both fascinating and troubling.
Although not all of our children will want to become doctors, having the ability to teach oneself is a valuable skill to possess, no matter the field of work or study they pursue. From my experience, the majority of kids are not taught this skill. In many instances, they are taught to focus on the materials and subjects laid out before them. If this skill is something that is required at one of the highest levels of education (medical school), then it is clearly something we should be teaching our kids at the earliest age possible.