A short, somewhat satirical, and very simplistic view of modern educational history:
Self-Directed learning is not new. It is, in fact, the way human beings are naturally programmed (wired) to acquire knowledge and, actually, did for thousands of years, until, the advent of industry, along with capitalism. The robber barons required an obedient, slightly literate, and a vaguely ignorant workforce to populate the factories, which became the impetus for what we now know as institutionalized education. This system has not fundamentally changed, in the nearly two hundred years, since it began.
A change is in the wind:
Many professional educators, developmental and research psychologists, and anthropologists, among others, have come to understand that the existing standard is no longer valid. Our society requires a population who ask the big questions, are curious, self-motivated, and, above all, creative.
Students who drive their own educational choices are intrinsically motivated to seek out challenges, solve problems, and invent solutions.
Self-Directed Learning Centers such as Deep Root Center as well as other resources are becoming more accessible as this "new" concept becomes recognized as the way of the future.