“Independent learning is a process, amethod and a philosophy of educationwhereby a learner acquires knowledge byhis or her own efforts and develops theability for enquiry and critical evaluation”
Essentially true independent learning unshacklesthe learner from being tied down to very specificlearning experiences and will allow them to directthemselves a lot more in determining exactly whatthey will learn about and how.
Teacher as facilitator, mentor, coach and guide: Providing learners with resource materials Whetting learners appetites to learn Providing learners with opportunities to test out their learning Giving learners feedback on their progress and Helping learners to make sense of what they have learned
What’s so great about Independent Learninganyway?Independent learners have abilities that will stand them ingood stead both during and beyond their education such astheir ability to: Acquire and deploy information Communicate effectively using different media Organise themselves Solve problems and Relate to others
What this means in real terms:In practice, most learning involves independentelements such as: Finding and collecting information Making decisions about what to study and when Carrying out investigations or projects Learners learning at their own pace using ICT or VLEs Completing homework, extension work or coursework assignments
How to promote Independent Learning:Giving pupils choices so they can reflect on their owninterests and preferencesEncouraging group work so that learners can learn fromeach otherCollaborate with pupils to set shared learning goalsInvolve pupils in lesson planningEncourage pupils to reflect and plan in learner diariesEncourage self and peer editing before work is handed in
Students: Its easier with many brains We all do things in different ways Rich talk during discussions Working in a group fosters independence
Teachers: There are fewer ‘units’ to supervise (instead of 30 students , you have 7 groups) You can spend more time observing the students and assessing them.