Dependent v Independent learning

Independent Learning is another strategy that we can use  to enhance the teaching and learning happening in our classrooms. It is an umbrella term that encompasses different ways where students take ownership and responsibility for their progress and development rather than being entirely led by teachers directing them to success. For how can our students be entirely successful if we don’t equip them with the independent skills which will support them throughout their lives and careers?

Traditionally, we teach in a way where we stand at the front of a classroom and deliver content, skills and tasks. We direct students through the lesson, explain the learning and giving out tasks without too much student involvement. Instead, students sit passively, relying on teacher instruction and intervention.

However, there is another way.

Independent Learning is a term that means students take a more active role in their learning. It is a self-directed approach where learners take control of their progress and ultimately it empowers students to become more successful, able to take the initiative and become good decision makers.

It is a way of learning that we must promote and develop in our classrooms.

If we rely on conventional methods of teaching, we are not giving our learners opportunities to grow. We are not allowing our students to develop resilience or skills for life.  Although it may seem threatening at first, to almost hand-over control of our lessons and relinquish the reins, it is something, that once polished, can have wonderful outcomes for our students.

What does independent learning look like? You may ask. Well, it can vary from individual research tasks that lead to deeper understanding and perception or it could be where two or more students work together through a task, following steps to reach success. Classrooms may become noisier, busier or seem a bit disorganised, but with careful practice and routines established it can become a powerful way of learning which reduces your input but enforces greater student input.

Take our new course “Developing Students’ Independent Learning Skills” for more detailed demonstrations and practices of this alternative method of teaching and learning or come along to our next series of live workshops which will focus on this style and methodology.

Let’s promote student empowerment and resilience in our classrooms.

Let’s encourage greater success.

Encourage Independent Learning in your classroom with Teach2030


NEW! Developing Students’ Independent Learning Skills: Part 1

Introduce ways to make your learners more engaged! In this course, we define independent learning and how it differs from whole class learning.


NEW! Developing Students’ Independent Learning Skills: Part 2

In this course, we outline 4 major strategies that can be trialled in the classroom to help students become more independent


Independent Learning Workshop Series

By taking this ownership of learning, we are providing them with the lifelong skills they need for their future work lives.

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