Self-Directed Learning Independent Schools

Learning Independent Schools

Learning Independent Schools

Self-Directed Learning is also referred to as SDL and is a popular topic for debate among parents looking at schools for their children and educators. A popular example of the SDL style of education is Montessori but there are other Rockingham schools that use SDL practices that are not specifically Montessori. Here is a look at what SDL means at its heart and what it means for parents who are choosing where to send their child to school.

Breaking it down

SDL type school have actually been around for longer than most people realise. The term might be newer but the concept of letting the learner dictate the direction of their learning with guidance and support from teachers is older. Somewhat similar to the idea of auto didacticism, the idea of self-education and being self-taught. Thinkers, inventors and innovators throughout history have often been such types. In the classroom and modern schools, it means students setting the lessons rather than being the more common teacher-directed method of learning. Several independent schools Perth including Montessori are examples of this. Teachers facilitate learning, can do some teaching but children follow the learning path they want.


When you are weighing up the choices of Rockingham schools for your child, here are advantages to the SDL approach.

  1. Children are encouraged to become independent and learn about things like personal responsibility.
  2. Children can focus on their areas of interest giving them the freedom to follow where that leads, to enjoy learning and to have motivation. As a result, they are often happier to go to school.
  3. Children are less likely to slip through the cracks because they are not engaged.


When you are weighing up the choices of independent schools Perth for your child, here are the disadvantages to the SDL approach.

  1. Most SDL schools focus on younger children and then those children filter into other types of schools for the rest of their learning. Moving from an SDL style of school to a traditional school can be hard. Things like standardized testing are completely alien to anyone from an SDL school.
  2. Independent schools cost parents in fees. Going to public school is free but if you want them to experience an SDL method of learning you will have to pay for it. Even just a Montessori preschool is going to be fairly costly.


There has been a lot of studies looking at whether SDL schools are effective and which is better traditional schooling or SDL. While things are still inconclusive, hence a lot of debate, it comes down to what you think works best for your child. The disadvantages do not have to stop you. Children adapt and can learn to move from one system to the other, and more people can afford independent schooling than most realise. If you are worried about how your child will do in a traditional learning environment take a look at SDL as an option.