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Is Your School Developing Dependent Or Independent Learners?

 

 

Most schools would agree that one of their main long term objectives is to develop life long learners. these are learners who have a range of thinking, social and learning skills that empower them to learn independently. This question is posed with the intent of being provocative and encouraging schools to reflect on and review their practices. The purpose is to raise some of the unasked questions. To do this I pose statements about about independent learners with matching questions. Feel free to make comments on this material in the associated 'Future Learning Now' Blog.

 

An independent learner is one who can locate and manage relevant information sources.

Do you have school based information sources, like journals, located in storage areas with teacher only access?

Do students need to seek permission to access resources outside of the classroom?

Do your students have to seek permission to access to the library when they need to?

Do your students have limited or timetabled access to internet based information sources?

If you find you are answering 'YES' it may be time to review what you are trying to achieve, and how you are trying to achieve it.

 

An independent learner is one who can set their own challenging and manageable learning goals.

Do students set their own learning goals?

Are students part of the planning process?

Do students and teachers negotiate short and long term learning goals?

Is there a an obvious link between pupil goals and planned lessons?

If you find you are answering 'NO' it may be time to review what you are trying to achieve, and how you are trying to achieve it.

 

An independent learner is one who has a range of thinking skills?

Does your school have a set of core or foundational thinking skills you are targeting with your students?

Have you determined which thinking tools will promote and facilitate those skills?

Are you assessing pupil progress in terms of those thinking skills and tracking progress?

Are you evaluating and reviewing your work in thinking based on assessment data?

If you find you are answering 'NO' it may be time to review what you are trying to achieve, and how you are trying to achieve it.