When they get off the highway, they have options. They have to determine which path is right for them. And in a progressive school, they have the freedom to determine their own roadmap.
Think of education as a road trip. Everyone is trying to get from New York to Los Angeles. Most kids will listen to the public school GPS and take the interstates. Your gifted and talented students will fly direct (quicker, unique, but not necessarily better). But self-directed learners will look at the map and plan as little or as much as they want, depending on dozens of individual factors from personality to learning style preferences to interests.