Student-Driven Learning

The Problem

In 2016, Tom from the Launceston Changemaker cohort recognised that it was unacceptable that kids were disengaged because of teacher-centred learning. It is all about the kids. He believes in a school where all students have ownership of their learning, are solving real life problems in their world, and have the necessary skills to have an impact in the future. 

He decided to tackle teacher-directed learning as his root cause head on.

Tom’s Solution

Tom boosted student-centred learning through a number of strategies. He..

  • prototyped problem based learning and the 6 Ds in his classroom
  • built capacity in the Maths and Science team
  • implemented NAB and FYA’s $20 Boss program across the whole school
  • organised a week of entrepreneurship across two schools
  • organised an external speaker to run a design thinking workshop
  • implemented cross-curricular planning groups

(We know, right?! What a gun!)

Tom’s Impact

“Three Year 9 and 10 students saw a need in our community in terms of keeping young people engaged. They identified ‘youth boredom’ as something they wanted to address, using their new entrepreneurial skill set. They organised a disco and activity afternoons which concentrated on building positive relationships and positive messaging. 53 young people turned up and they raised $795 for their business, donating 25% of that to our Cambodian friendship school. They chose to reinvest the other 75% into scaling their business to have impact on more young people in the area.”

In total, 137 students have had the opportunity to develop and grow 15 sustainable businesses and services, just like the group described above.

Like the idea?

Tom would love your support for student-driven learning, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and he’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where he can. Shoot an email to if you want to get in touch with Tom and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer him on in the comments below as well.

#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange

1 reply »

  1. Great work Tom. I love how you’ve managed to put the student back where they should be…at the centre of their own learning! Well done.


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