This content is part of official issued curriculum providing the most up-to-date information (i.e., front matter). This content is applicable to all curriculum documents, Grades 1 to 12. Educators must consider this information to guide the implementation of curriculum and in creating the environment in which it is taught. 

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Self-Directed Learning


Self-directed learning involves becoming aware of and managing one’s own process of learning. It includes developing dispositions that support motivation, self-regulation, perseverance, adaptability, and resilience. It also calls for a growth mindset – a belief in one’s ability to learn – combined with the use of strategies for planning, reflecting on, and monitoring progress towards one’s goals, and reviewing potential next steps, strategies, and results. Self-reflection and thinking about thinking (metacognition) support lifelong learning, adaptive capacity, well-being, and the ability to transfer learning in an ever-changing world.

Student Descriptors

  • Students learn to think about their own thinking and learning (metacognition) and to believe in their ability to learn and grow (growth mindset). They develop their ability to set goals, stay motivated, and work independently.
  • Students who regulate their own learning are better prepared to become lifelong learners. They reflect on their thinking, experiences, and values, and respond to critical feedback, to enhance their learning. They also monitor the progress of their learning.
  • Students develop a sense of identity in the context of Canada’s various and diverse communities.
  • Students cultivate emotional intelligence to better understand themselves and others and build healthy relationships.
  • Students learn to take the past into account in order to understand the present and approach the future in a more informed way.
  • Students develop personal, educational, and career goals and persevere to overcome challenges in order to reach those goals. They learn to adapt to change and become resilient in the face of adversity.
  • Students become managers of the various aspects of their lives – cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual – to enhance their mental health and overall well-being.