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A simple definition of an autodidact is a person who self-educates. I can think of no better example of an autodidact than William Kamkwamba.

Kamkwamba was the subject of a Netflix original, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. It is well worth the watch and I include the movie trailer below.


Video source

Kamkwamba was interviewed at a TED talk when he was just 19-years-old. According to this Newsweek article, he later “graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and continued on to work with Ideo.org focusing on Human Centered Design. The now 31-year-old has since worked on projects from sanitation in India to gender-based violence prevention in Kenya.”
 

TED talk

Other than providing inspiring story, the movie could be the basis of lessons for teachers and students.

For example, in teacher education, it could be used to highlight the importance of identifying problems before exploring solutions, and of placing context before content.

For students in general, the movie offers food for thought on the uncontrolled stripping of natural resources from our environment. It has equally powerful lessons on how people of different religions can be friends.

There are worthwhile lessons everywhere. You do not have to wait for the permission of curriculum planners or administrators. You just need to feel what the wind blows in. That is what an autodidact would do.


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