Independent learning is vital for students to succeed. Independent learning occurs when students create goals, examine, and monitor their academic progress. It is critical because students might develop their motivation to learn. Students who are aggressively occupied in selecting how and what they learn are often more encouraged and occupied. This is hardly surprising given that autonomous learners are intensely focused on their learning objectives. Independent learning is a strategy and set of educational principles in which a learner acquires knowledge through their efforts and develops the capacities for inquiry and analytical assessments.
Here are seven basic ideas—some old, some new, some tried and true—for giving students more autonomy while allowing you to focus on other aspects of your agenda.
Schools Can Offer Opportunities to Reflect on Learning
To develop independent learners, students must be constantly motivated by schools and teachers to reflect on their performance and whether or not they have fulfilled their learning objectives. This will undoubtedly assist students in becoming more self-sufficient and aware of their own skills, development, and weaknesses. Recognizing progress will assist students in developing drive and confidence. Opportunities for evaluation and reflection do not need to take up a lot of time. It is sufficient to consume two to three minutes at the end of the class. Asking the question at the conclusion of class will assist students in developing critical analytical skills.
Defined Learning Objectives
It is critical for schools to assist students in becoming autonomous learners. Sharing learning objectives with a class allows students to see what they are focusing on and to assess if they have gained it later or not. This step can be completed at the beginning of a lesson. Even though some educators set the goals for themselves, if you want to create a truly independent learning experience, get them from the students.
Convey Learning Decisions
If you make all of the decisions for kids and do not give them the opportunity to make their own decisions, they will not be able to become independent learners. Giving students the opportunity to make decisions about their learning will provide them with a high level of self-determination. However, this should be a modest approach, as not all students will be prepared to take overall leadership right away. The gradual increase in duties will help students become more self-sufficient.
Children are usually inquisitive. Encourage them to ask questions and experiment with new concepts. Include elements of choice in the curriculum that allow youngsters to select topics of interest to them. Give students time and structures that allow them to learn on their own. This could include encouraging free choice reading, providing options when writing reports, and scheduling time for "Genius Blocks" or "Power Hour." Because many youngsters are not accustomed to making decisions, you may need to teach them how to make good ones. The reward is engaged learners who are learning to deepen their engagement in topics and work that are meaningful to them.
Teach Learning and Planning Strategies
Some students do not use autonomous learning strategies because they lack adequate strategies. Teach students how to study. Help students learn to plan, monitor their work, use calendars or agendas, and manage their time wisely. All of these are life skills that independent workers employ. Students enjoy feeling mature or adult-like; tell them that these qualities will help them succeed as adults. They may not have a boss who tells them what to do every minute of the day in their future careers. They must be able to take tasks, split them down, create a to-do list, and schedule time to do the work. It is never too early to begin teaching students self-help skills.
It may be counter-intuitive to reduce the emphasis on tests in this era of excessive testing and evidence-based learning. Tests, on the other hand, foster one way of thinking and one correct response. The emphasis is frequently placed on achieving the correct answer on the test rather than on genuine learning. Rather than focusing on achieving something to pass the test, concentrate on how they can use the material and how knowing it will help them in the future. Aiding students in applying their exam information will actually boost their learning and assist them in making connections to the larger world, both of which are strong independent learning abilities.
We hear a lot about cultivating a growth mentality. Students must understand that their knowledge and learning capacity is not fixed and that they may always grow and develop. Growing is typically accompanied by struggle. Rather than being a negative thing, problems frequently show us where we have room to grow.
Encourage students who are having difficulty. Remind them that learning new things is often difficult and time-consuming. Share stories about people who have overcome obstacles, including yourself or people you know. Remind students that their efforts pay off by saying things like, "Last week this was incredibly difficult for you, but you pushed through it, and now you understand it." By perseverance, you can foster pride in your learning.
Give Feedback On Learning
Giving students feedback on their learning is also important. The feedback also assists students in developing the skills and talents required to become more self-sufficient. Giving comments in a supportive and compassionate manner. When teachers provide feedback to students, it encourages and motivates them to achieve better in all areas. Effective feedback should allow students to learn more efficiently while also understanding where they are currently studying. As a result, this will assist kids in becoming autonomous learners.
Use Questioning Scaffold To Independent Learning
Teachers should utilize questioning to help students become autonomous learners. The goal here is a gradual, steady shift of responsibility from the teacher to the learner. Teachers must cultivate good classroom conversations by posing open-ended and higher-order questions. As a result, the student's reactions are more flexible, which helps with thinking, deeper knowledge, and problem-solving skills.
Independent study has numerous advantages and greatly benefits students. It boosted academic performance, increased motivation, and so forth. All of the ideas described above will assist kids in becoming autonomous learners and successful in all aspects of their lives.
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