An inquiry into a school-based curriculum approach called ‘Free Learning’

Elke Van dermijnsbrugge and Baiwen Peng—The Education University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

This report presents findings from a case study, conducted in 2018 and 2019, that focused on the investigation of ‘Free Learning’, a novel curriculum approach developed by an international school in Hong Kong. Free Learning is one of the school-based curricular practices that can be considered an act of resistance against educational discourses centred around the ‘learnification’ of education. Learnification often implies an increase in learning freedom for students and a decrease in significance and value of the teacher role. The case study examined the role of the teacher and student learning in Free Learning, the extent to which Free Learning has an effect on both, and how the student-teacher relationship is reconsidered. Findings show that the Free Learning approach allows for a student-teacher relationship that is reciprocal, and that is neither focused on outcomes nor performance. These findings are discussed and framed, and suggestions are made for adoption and further research on Free Learning in different educational settings.

Full report pdf