Free Learners are like Free Climbers, Free Divers, Free Skiers and Freestylers; they are curiosity and passion-driven, unstructured, hands-on learners.
What is free learning
Free Learning is individualized, hands-on, and free form. Free learners learn by doing, and use their innate curiosity to ask questions that then drive their learning.
In free learning, no topic is off limits: poetry, robots, sport, genetics, asteroids, anything. To use the trite expression, it’s about learning to learn, and that learning that learning can be fun and fulfilling.
“All of us are born free learners, the challenge is to remain one as we grow up.”
— Picasso, more or less
Starting with Questions
The core principle behind free learning is that you can use people’s innate curiosity to drive the rest of the learning. Free learning begins by asking questions (preferably ones that are hard to google), and the curious search for the answer drives the learning.
“There is no learning without having to pose a question.”
– Richard Feynman
Exploration and Discovery
Galileo invented calculus by asking a series of questions. Newton invented laws of motion by asking questions. Asking questions has led to progress in the past, it can lead to creative progress in human knowledge today as well.
One of the principles of past thinkers is that they used tools from multiple subjects together to understand the world. Pythagoras believed all is number, he studied music and philosophy through the tools of math. Descartes and Aristotle were philosophers and mathematicians. De Vinci was a mathematician and an artist. In free learning, learners use tools from across multiple disciplines to find answers to their questions.
Build the Future
One of the wonderful things about education as a category is that anyone can just start building the future. There are a lot of projects that could greatly empower the next generation of free learners. If you’re potentially interested in starting a free learning startup, we’ve listed some project ideas that we’d love to exist.