Open Connections

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Teen Perspectives on OC Philosophy -Self-Directed Learning


Teen Perspectives on OC Philosophy

Originally Published in the Summer 2021 issue of the Open Connections Magazine


The years spent at Open Connections are an incredible time of metamorphosis, of gradual transitioning from early childhood to young adulthood. Our community is privileged to be able to observe youth undergo this change over the years we spend together and we see core OC concepts and values wind up as integral parts of their fully realized young adult selves. We asked the members of our teens in Group Tutorial IV (GTIV) and Shaping Your Life (SYL) to reflect on how the OC philosophy has helped them develop the perspectives through which they experience the world. We hope you enjoy seeing the value of Open Connections through their eyes.


This time we hear about:


Self-Directed Learning

by Ruby, Group Tutorial IV


As a young person, one of the things that I’ve always cherished about being at OC is how self-directed I’m allowed to be in my learning. All of the group tutorial programs (including SYL) tend to have at least two big self-directed projects each year: traditionally these include a research based paper with a presentation and some sort of scientific experiment. Within the varying parameters for the projects, you can choose to do each on whatever subject you choose. I, like many other young people, have always had interests that are not traditionally perceived as academic (such as movies or comic books), but through the self-directed nature of these projects I have been able to explore topics that I am passionate about or interested in and view them in an academic context. Not only have these projects allowed me to gain further insight on my interests, but they have also created a way for me to develop skills like researching, writing, and presenting my thoughts and findings in a way that is fun and engaging. 

  • Ruby MPF
  • Ruby PF