Independent learning and thinking skills are the must-haves to be a great thinker and a great leader at the same time. These are the things that teach
Independent learning and thinking skills are the must-haves to be a great thinker and a great leader at the same time. These are the things that teach students how to make sense of the things based on personal observation and to find out the appropriate solutions for the issues in the same order. Promoting independent learning gives the student the ability to learn new things on their own and gain confidence not only for a bright career path but to live a productive lifestyle too.
As an educator do you really help your students to become independent learners?
In order to promote independent learning, along with having students who are master study skills, you also need to incorporate a few creative study-related activities and skills while planning your lecture and lessons.
1- Create an Open Learning Environment
In the traditional learning environment, students are used to sitting in the class for a whole day to listen to educators. But when it comes to encouraging independent learning, the class should be different. Let the students attend fewer passive lessons and provide them with more opportunities to talk and explain what they learn and how they learn effectively.
2- Prepare Questions to Explode Curiosity
Let the students ask questions at the end of each lecture. It could be a great step to keep them engaged with the subjects and to learn more. Encourage students to prepare and ask questions regarding the lesson delivered because questions can help them make the concepts clear. An interested and compelling question sparks the curiosity for the answer and encourages other students to ask more questions. Generating new questions from the lesson allows students to improve independent learning that a normal lesson cannot.
3- Examine the Independent work
Educators should be specific when it comes to reviewing the homework or assignments accomplished by the students. Just giving them a grade is not enough to boost independent learning. However, teachers should highlight at least 3 good things and 3 suggestions to make learning related things and skills better.
4- Assign Students with Research Related Assignments
Allow students to spend some time out of the classroom in doing a search and complete their assignments accordingly. Let the students do something new instead of answering the same questions of social studies and solving the same math problems daily. Asking them to complete some research related assignments will help them most in independent learning. In this way, all the students will be able to develop different learning skills to make learning process better than before.
5- Ask Students to Teach Others
Allowing your students to share and teach the learned information and knowledge with fellow students is one of the best ways to promote independent learning in students. As teaching others offer loads of benefits, students will be able to polish their oral communication skills and can build leadership abilities for a better career path in the future. Teaching fellow students also allow them to hear concepts and ideas with different points of views that can reinforce their way of thinking and learning as well.
6- Encourage Dissenting Views
Let the students create and share their own ideas regarding different topics and issues. In this way, you might have more dissenting views that can be debated in the class to reach great solutions or ideas at the end. It would be a great step to promote independent learning and teachers should facilitate the debates to provide them with solid and authentic views. It will allow students to think more deeply on their ideas and concepts to reach ultimate and reliable outcomes.
Encourage students to write down and share ideas related to a topic or subject. It allows students to share their own ideas and thoughts with each other. Brainstorming in the classroom not only helps students to accomplish group assignments and projects creatively but also builds great learning skills and expertise to make them independent learners. Organize brainstorming sessions in the class oftentimes in a month to encourage teamwork and leadership even in shy students.
8- Highlight the Positive Things Always
Whether they are successful or not, get your students to think about the validity of their ideas and concepts and reward the risk-taking abilities accordingly. Don’t tell them they are bad in communication but suggest some great ideas so they can improve without getting dishonored. Offer them a free hand to ask relevant questions during the class or lecture as it will help them polish independent learning skills greatly.