The Benefits of Independent Learning

Independent learning is another strategy that we can use to develop our teaching skills, but more importantly encourage greater outcomes from our students equipping them for the many challenges they will face in later life.

Independent learning is a way for students to take responsibility for their own learning and progress. In effect they can self-direct and pace themselves to manage the challenges and obstacles they may face, in their own time and in their own way, therefore we are providing them with skills to problem solve, progress and increase productivity.

When students are forced through tasks at an accelerated pace, they sometimes become lost and demotivated, which is why it is important to try out a variety of techniques and teaching strategies in our classrooms so that we can reach everyone and provide an inclusive way of learning.

Studies have shown that self-directed learning, where students work through tasks independently with the teacher simply supervising or gently monitoring and coaching, prove to yield increased motivation and improved academic improvement; which makes sense as students know their limitations but also begin to learn how to cope with difficulties and what strategies to use to enable themselves to move forward in their own way. This then builds confidence and aspiration to progress further and engage more deeply with tasks and units of study.

If we continually teach in one way, one style and one method, we are actually limiting our students rather than fostering independence or encouraging independence – these students will eventually graduate into the wider world and it is our duty to prepare them and give them the skills to become successful.

As we develop and regularly include this way of teaching and learning in our practice and classrooms, we are benefitting our students greatly. We are allowing them to achieve success in their own way, allowing them to discover coping strategies which they can then develop and mature as they gain experience with this way of learning.

We will nurture students’ critical thinking skills as they figure their way through scenarios and tasks, just as they will need to do in the future. This way of learning will teach them flexibility as well as self-discipline; they will learn to work with others with differing learning styles and therefore have to be flexible and willing to adapt, but equally they will need to be disciplined to get the work done as you are effectively handing over direction to the student.

It will take time to develop and perfect this way of learning but the rewards that every student will gain will be incredible.

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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