“The style of learning at the school is andragogical – our students take on a huge part of the responsibility for the learning experience. They behave as if employed in a studio. They pitch for business. They work on real briefs. In many ways, we simulate the culture and patterns of their working future.”
The Shillington School also offers learning through theory and hands-on experience working from briefs under real-world timelines. The focus of the program is to help students produce a portfolio.
I believe that learning through real work is more effective (and more enjoyable), however I’m on the fence about how much it matters that the work be self-originated. I’ve created and delivered a brief-based materials for teaching design studio sessions. This was appropriate for teaching skills in a workshop format to a group of people because it fit in a workshop format of a few hours. It was also helpful for the group to share and learn from each others’ results.
When working one-on-one over a longer term mentoring relationship, I’ve found that it’s better to have the person I’m working with find a domain of interest that they felt passion for, and build the program of activities that help them gain the skills they need related to that space. I think that this leads to more engagement in the problems, because it’s more real, and it also leads to ideas that can tie into meaningful work as they pursue employment.