Goal-directed learning is a very straightforward concept. Take students' actual goals, and let all instruction be in service of giving them the skills to achieve those goals. Don't force on them anything that won't help them achieve their goals or that they don't want to know. This concept leads to a set of principles that should guide the construction of learning environments.
When you have a clear idea of what you will do with knowledge, you will become motivated to learn. If you decided to build a house by yourself, you would quickly discover that you needed to know something about architecture, about strength of materials, about basic physics and geometry, a little mathematics, a lot of government regulations, principles of design, electricity, water, and a whole lot more.
Goal-directed courses that have intrinsic importance to students can cover large ranges of materials, and go on for very long time periods. This might, of course, create havoc in the regimented schedule of the school system, but havoc may be what is needed to stimulate changes.
Principles of Quality Software
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