About Maurice Gibbons

Maurice in a Nutshell...

Maurice is a Canadian who grew up on the west coast, completed his BA at the University of British Columbia, his MA in English at the University of Washington, and his doctorate at Harvard where he was on the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review.

He taught in elementary and secondary schools before teaching at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University, from which he is now an emeritus professor.

A specialist in the creation of innovative approaches to instruction, the programs he has designed emphasize self-direction, challenge and excellence. Among his more than sixty academic articles, the most celebrated are "Walkabout, Searching for the Right Passage from Childhood and School" (PDK, May 74), and the follow-up article, "Walkabout Ten Years Later" (PDK, May 1984).Ten years Later” (PDK May, 1984). “Excuse Me, Didn’t I Just Hear a Paradigm Shift,” appeared in the Kappan in February, 2004. The first Walkabout article is now the most requested reprint in PDK history. The original Walkabout article and "Excuse Me...." are available at this site under "Articles."

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Individualized Instruction:An Analysis of the Programs (Teachers' College Press),
The New Secondary Education (PDK),
The Walkabout Papers (Eduserve) and most recently,
The Self-Directed Learning Handbook (Jossey-Bass Pfieffer).
The handbook is available through this site under "Ordering Books."


In 2007, Gibbon’s was awarded the Malcolm Knowles Memorial Self Directed Learning Award at the 21st annual International Self Directed Learning Symposium.

Gibbons was a founding member of Challenge Education Associates that produced The Self-Directed Professional program for teachers; he was the founder and director of Personal Power Press which produced a dozen books on SDL, and he was a founding member of World Citizens for a Universal Curriculum, a global education project designed to empower students to create a sustainable world.

Gibbons publishes fiction and poetry and is an exhibiting sculptor. He used SDL methods to learn to carve wood and has exhibited his work in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney and New York -- website coming soon. Gibbons was arrested at Claoquot Sound in civil disobedience against the clearcutting of old-growth timber in the Pacific Northwest. He is married and lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, where he carves, writes and consults. Gibbons is well known for the provocative speeches and hands-on workshops he presents worldwide.