Free Learning : A Student-Directed Pedagogy in Asia and Beyond book cover
1st Edition

Free Learning
A Student-Directed Pedagogy in Asia and Beyond

ISBN 9780367714017
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
342 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $36.00
was $180.00
USD $144.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This edited volume explores, investigates and analyses Free Learning – an innovative approach to student-directed learning which seeks to challenge educational norms from within. The volume is framed by a recognition of the urgent need for transformation of our educational systems.

In traditional education, students work through a teacher-directed linear syllabus, at a pace dictated by the teacher, with summative assessment hurdles at too-frequent intervals. Progression and direction are determined solely by the teacher. In Free Learning, students determine their own learning pathway through a non-linear syllabus, which can be visualised as a mind map. Students may then complete as many units as they either have time for or are interested in, moving from one unit to another on the basis of having formatively satisfied the demands of each individual unit.

This volume showcases the value and potential of Free Learning in contemporary practice and is intended to bridge theory and practice. The structure of the book reflects this complementary fit, with contributions from practitioners describing Free Learning as a learning and teaching tool in a range of educational settings, subjects and age-ranges. It also contains qualitative and quantitative analyses by researchers exploring the uptake of Free Learning and students’ responses to the methodology.
Researchers and educators who are interested in student-directed methodologies, especially in Asia, will find that the practical accounts and analyses of Free Learning contained within provide much food for thought with regard to redefining student learning.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Introduction
1. Opening Up
Peter Falvey and Ross Parker
2. Introduction and Background to Free Learning
Ross Parker and David Coniam
Section 2: Literature Background: Theoretical, Practical and Educational Perspectives
3. Grounding the Free Learning Model: Theoretical Perspectives
Min Yang and Wincy Lee Wing Sze
4. Grounding the Free Learning Model: Practical Perspectives
Wincy Lee Wing Sze and Min Yang
5. Curriculum Innovation and Free Learning at International College Hong Kong
Toby Newton
6. Building Relationships, Living the Curriculum
Elke Van dermijnsbrugge
7. Assessment in Free Learning
Alex Hall
Section 3: How Free Learning Works: Examples of Free Learning in Practice
8. Implementing Free Learning
Ross Parker
9. A Free Learning Approach to STEM Delivery
Stewart Ross
10. The Adoption of Free Learning in a Pre-Service Teacher Education Programme: A Possible Crisis Response
Elke Van dermijnsbrugge
11. Deconstructing the Curriculum: Introducing Free Learning to a Computer Science Course
Sandra Kuipers
12. Comparing and Evaluating Professional Development Workshops Conducted via Free Learning and Face-To-Face Modes: The Hong Kong NET Scheme
Native-speaking English Teacher Section, Education Bureau, Hong Kong SAR
Section 4: Evaluation of Free Learning
13. The Evaluation of Free Learning at International College Hong Kong
Elke Van dermijnsbrugge and Baiwen Pang
14. Free Learning: A Guinea Pig's Retrospective
Vince Matthew Pineda Leung
15. A Quantitative Exploration of Student Attitudes to Free Learning and of Grades Achieved
David Coniam
16. A Qualitative Inquiry into Student Attitudes towards Free Learning
Yangyu Xiao and David Coniam
17. The Mastery Transcript
Ross Parker
Section 5: Conclusion: Where to from Here?
18. Conclusion and Looking Forward
Peter Falvey and Ross Parker

View More



Ross Parker is Director of Technology & Assessment at International College Hong Kong. He is passionate about making learning a positive, anxiety-free process centred around personal transformation. Ross is the founder of Gibbon, the open-source school platform, through which he has also developed the Free Learning pedagogy. As a public speaker, Ross has presented at conferences and workshops around the world.

David Coniam is Head of Research at LanguageCert, Greece, and Adjunct Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. He has been working and researching in English-language teaching, education and assessment for almost 50 years. His main publication and research interests are in language assessment, language teaching methodology and academic writing and publishing.

Peter Falvey is a teacher educator. A former Head of Department in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong, he is currently affiliated in an honorary professorial role with the Education University of Hong Kong. His main publication and research interests are in language assessment, first- and second-language writing methodology, and text linguistics.