9 Proven Methods That Cultivate Independence In Students
In today's age of a fast-changing economy, where graduates compete for jobs and careers with people all over the world, the ability to adapt quickly and apply new skills and knowledge is critical. In the global information economy, learning how to learn is a game-changer among strategies. It can never be too early to teach children how to learn more independently, even at the kindergarten level.
Many students, in essence, have not learned how to retain and apply information. Current research, fortunately, provides intriguing insights into the brain's ability to learn and develop at greater levels when effective learning techniques are utilized.
For an average learner, the tiniest thing can change their whole perspective, whether it's a different use of language, sense of responsibility, motivation to come up with different ideas, sense of emotional support, feedback about their set of personal skills, comments, and assessments of every single interest of theirs - to name a few.
When pupils become active learners, they understand that there may be more than one correct solution to a problem and that determining whether or not an answer is "correct" is subjective rather than objective. Fortunately, teachers have a plethora of options for assisting children in developing independent thinking abilities. Here are 9 proven methods that cultivate independent learners.
Methods To Help Students Become More Independent Learners
1. Withhold The Answers
Teachers should understand that having a pupil come up with the correct answer in any lesson isn't always the aim. Instead, it's the learning that occurs during the process.
Be adamant about providing students with the resources and support they require to develop the solution to the problem instead of providing them with the answer. As long as the teacher doesn't respond instead of them, it could involve directing them to a website, providing a tool that will get them where they need to go, or pointing them in the correct direction in their notes and ideas.
Even when a student gets the answer wrong the first time, if they can get it right the second or third time, they are thrilled - and their confidence is up. More importantly, they can utilize whatever tool or scaffolding approach the teacher provided them to solve the problem next time, like a novel method to seek material in the textbook or a new way to think about the lesson.
Overall, it helps students grasp concepts related to strategies for efficient and independent problem-solving.
2. Provide Students With Opportunities To Self-Monitor Their Progress
Setting objectives and obtaining feedback from others - and oneself - are two activities that the practice of self-monitoring relies on. The teacher can encourage the students to self-monitor with the assessment of their skills to use self- and peer-evaluation to determine if the techniques they were employing were helpful in attaining their learning objectives and see if those techniques are a good foundation for success.
You could try assigning students the task of writing a letter to a student who will be in the course the following year. After completing a project or a unit, have students recap what they've learned and provide feedback on how they overcame any learning obstacles for future students. This method allows students to reflect on almost any topic in life.
After that, assign students to groups and have them take turns sharing what they've learned. This exercise allows kids to learn from one another and provides focus and motivation for further education.
3. Coach Students On How To Set Goals
Encourage students to set reasonable yet ambitious learning objectives for themselves. Goals that enable us to leverage our particular talents are often the most inspiring.
Students are frequently assigned goals based on a one-size-fits-all curriculum or their particular learning deficiencies - think personalized education program classroom - which may be disheartening.
At Invictus International School, we provide various curricula that stimulate each student's progress, e.g. International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which features a clear process of learning and sets specific learning goals, or The UK Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which fosters development through providing each child with unique learning opportunities.
Consider helping students develop learning objectives based on their own learning abilities if they currently lack the desire to study. For some students, a specific objective could be to provide movement breaks for the class. Another kid may establish a goal to fill up his or her thankfulness or appreciation diary with pictures or artwork.
Teachers should help students in their search for skills and determine how to create personal goals.
4. Teach Students How To Create A Learning Plan
Train students on how to organize their own learning time wisely. Our minds were not designed to work nonstop for several hours. After every 20 minutes of individual study, urge students to prepare a shift in focus. They should get up and move about every hour or so. They should use several sites to search for answers when studying new content. Because location memory is so strong, using multiple locations to learn can sharpen their memory skills.
You have to push a student to learn to be self-disciplined to show progress. Encourage them to make a commitment to themselves to begin working toward their goals. You can help them in reaffirming their commitment to self-organization, time management, and limiting time-wasting distractions.
Moreover, assist students in defining themselves as individuals who commit to and achieve their goals on a continuous basis - not just in the present. It will almost certainly be essential to remind them regularly that accomplished people forgive themselves when they experience failure and move on. You could even give them this in writing if necessary.
5. Show Appreciation
Appreciation feedback aids in the development of a positive self-narrative and confidence in students. Students should be taught about the counter-narrative and "the power of yet" - adding "yet" to "can't do" words when they evaluate their work and establish goals.
"What I have written is not great... yet." Or "My grade is not satisfactory... yet."
From "I failed and feel ashamed about my grade," the counter-narrative shifts to "I learned something new and am stronger as a result."
6. Create An Open Environment
Every student is accustomed to sitting in class and listening to your teaching, but professors who wish to foster autonomous thought should make it evident that their class will be different from the start.
Inform students that there will be fewer passive lectures and more opportunities for them to discuss and write about what they have learned in order to achieve independence in learning.
Putting up a poster in class every day encouraging every student to be an active learner, for example, underscores that you are paving the path for autonomous thinking in the classroom.
7. Reward Initiative
Giving every student an identical task and examination isn't the most effective approach to deciding their grades and fostering independence. That is why, from the start, teachers should make it obvious that they want their pupils to be active rather than passive learners.
Students who volunteer to write a report for additional credit, for example, should be rewarded. The same goes for those who take initiative in group projects.
Furthermore, students who participate in extracurricular activities are the ones that should be shown appreciation. At Invictus International School, a well-rounded set of extra-curricular activities (ECAs) will help students discover, improve and seek skills throughout their learning journey.
8. Let The Students "Teach"
Enabling students who complete a research assignment to share what they discover - be it through a presentation or a video - with the rest of the classroom has two benefits.
The student-teachers, for starters, will have the opportunity to develop their oral communication abilities. Furthermore, when a classmate teaches them, the other students in the class may learn more.
9. Support Brainstorming
Generally, students who take notes tend to jot down the highlights of their professors' lectures. Teachers should instead encourage them to write down any questions or thoughts they have.
Some learners may value the opportunity to speak about their views in the classroom, but journals can also provide a space for timid kids to write down their thoughts and submit the highlights to their instructor.
While students can show great potential and desire for independent learning, in the end, it comes down to the institution in which they're enrolled. During their time in said institution, the role of the teacher and the institution itself is critical for achieving independent learning.
The curriculum and extra-curricular activities in Invictus International School are designed to challenge students and shape smart and successful young people with admirable educational backgrounds. Book a tour now and ensure your child's bright academic future.
The practice of independent learning boosts confidence and, as a foundation, becomes highly relevant to students later in life - in the world outside of the classroom.