Self Made Scholar
Learning is awesome. School sucks. Teach yourself! Jun 28
Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
PBS Video recently began publishing free, full-length shows to their website. They already have dozens to choose from and continue adding more each week. A few of their more interesting video series include:
Want to explore primary source material, watch public films, and browse through a collection of historic treasures? Check out the online exhibitions from the British National Archives. You’ll find hundreds of pages of photographs, government documents, and other resources.
One of the most challenging and gratifying parts of learning alone is the opportunity to search for and select your own learning material. Students in traditional classrooms usually don’t get to decide how they are going to master course content. Instructors decide for them in the form of textbook selection, quizzes, tests, group projects, etc. As an independent learner, you can make your study time more effective by using only the learning methods that work for you.
Welcome to SelfMadeScholar.com. This blog is all about self-education – people learning what they want to know without formal schools or classrooms. Let’s start with the basics: What is self-education?
Shred your textbooks! Burn your report cards! Before you embark on an independent learning journey, you’re going to need to take some time to un-learn the negative lessons you picked up in traditional schools.
Creating a commonplace book can help you keep track of your educational journey. It’s a place to record favorite quotes from the books you read, ideas you have, and questions that arise from your studies. Over time, your commonplace book will turn into a record of who you’ve been and how you’ve changed. You can use it to track the progress you’ve made and reflect on the thoughts that have shaped your life. This article will show you how to get started. Wha t is a Commonplace Book?
An unfortunate number of people graduate from high school or college with a lot of knowledge and no practical ability. I’m a firm believer that practical learning (i.e. the ability to do something) is just as important as academic learning (i.e. knowledge about something). Practical learning encompasses anything that helps someone master a skill or ability. It includes skills that are sometimes considered drudge work…cooking, painting, fixing a car. As well as talents that are more recreational…skiing, drawing, dancing. Why Practical Learning?
“The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be a university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson Just 61 years after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, Ralph Waldo Emerson offered a declaration of his own urging Americans to stop being “parrot[s] of other men’s thinking.” The groundbreaking speech, later titled The American Scholar , is a treasure trove of autodidactic insight.
One of the biggest hurdles people face when embarking on a journey of self-education is deciding what to learn. There are so many possibilities that it’s difficult to narrow down the options. If you still don’t know what you want to focus your self-studies on, may I suggest you take a bit of time for “general education.” In college, we think of general education as the series of courses one must take to get a broad understanding of academics. Classes like English, math, and history, help students of all disciplines share a common base of knowledge.
The internet is an invaluable resource to self-educated learners. Below is a list of some of the most helpful sites out there including opencourseware materials, free libraries, learning communities, educational tools, and more. Including links to individual classes would make this list too long. So, I’ve added umbrella links that will help you find the material you need with just a little searching. For example, instead of listing individual classes, I’ve provided links to college opencourseware websites and course directories.