Let’s bring this around to the classroom and look more closely at the role of a teacher or facilitator in education. Creating a sense of community and building relationships with students is essential. In a classroom with a traditional teacher, the students are relying on the educator to feed them the proper instruction, principles, and training. All of these definitions lead us to think of a facilitator as someone who sets up, designs, and oversees an environment that is conducive to the goal at hand but they are not at the center of the scene. Questions need to encourage them to think for themselves and consider other options. Can you imagine the difference in motivation if you allowed a student to research a topic that truly piqued his or her interest? The children in Ethiopia may have many many more disadvantages than our wealthy school systems, but they do have one advantage: There was no fear of failure, an abundance of innate curiosity, and a serious drive to learn and teach themselves for their own sense of satisfaction and pleasure. Grasping the structure of language itself can also help students learn across various […], […] researchers found that students displayed learning gains after as little as 20 minutes of independent study on the […], […] findings indicated that the practice of increasing student ownership and responsibility for their academic success was a distinguishing feature of schools with higher-student […], […] explains that developing this type of student-driven learning experience is something she and others at her school are working […], […] our final aim should be for pupils to work independently; this does not mean that constant independent learning will achieve this aim. Professionally, continuous learning is about expanding your skills to keep up with quickly emerging developments. Students who aren’t given the opportunity for independent learning don’t acquire the skill of HOW to learn and how to examine a principle from multiple angles. We need to dig down to the specific learning strategies and establish some practical working principles to ensure that students can do it well. But this can be hard when students aren’t in the classroom. Julie DeNeen has her bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Haven. They just take the bull by the horns. Then she let each student choose one of their peer’s paragraphs to revise. The students enjoyed setting their own pace and holding themselves accountable. Students who have a facilitator rather than a teacher will come to depend on themselves for a job well done. Kim also creates distance learning assignments that ask students to choose their own topic to research at home. For example, try: This is why Kim’s process of allowing her students to become educators is so beneficial. And, depending upon your industry, continuous learning could be vital to your employability. Tim Barber 16th June 2016 at 4:02pm. Some children hacked the tablet to customize the look and feel of the computer. Five different and random emoji are used to inspire students to create five different sentences. This process created an opportunity for students to learn from each other. Below, here are the five strategies that Kim shared with her students. Students can self-critique more effectively. The skills you gain are transferrable to most jobs. This naturally creates flexibility for students with different learning styles and cognitive level. Independent learning is about pupils being active rather than passive. This is mainly because they are more prepared to take actions and do things without having to wait for support or permission from someone else. Independent learning skills help a child to experience a situation or challenge they have never experienced before and enable them to utilise their independent skills to confidently solve the problem. In this experiment, the children taught the OLPC officials that even without a teacher, as long as they had a tool, they could educate themselves. Then she has them explain why they choose this topic and what they learned from their research. By teaching students how to think independently during this time of distance learning, we are setting them up for future success as life-long learners when they are outside of the classroom. The importance of children’s independent exploration and creation of texts is supported by the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF, 2016): They become aware of the relationships between oral and visual representations, and recognise patterns and relationships. Can I Use Covid-19 Teaching Videos for Meaningful Teacher Observations? @IngeniousChi Thank you for the correction! Although, ‘independent learning’ is not a new concept, Broad, (2006) believes that there seems to be a lack of agreement on what it actually means. During the pandemic, it has become essential for students to be self-directed learners. The question is, how do we make our teachers excellent facilitators that promote independent learning? Passion and curiosity cement learning. You can find out more about her @jdeneen4 and Google+. In becoming independent, the child also gains a sense of importance and belonging. Except as permitted by the applicable copyright law, you may not reproduce or communicate any content from this website, including any files downloadable from this website, without the permission of Open Colleges. Why is independent learning important? When learning altered to distance teaching, she gave her students more ownership over the assignment. In his article, Five Strategies For Independent Learning, Dennis Pierce shares how fifth-grade-teacher Kim Voge empowered her students for success in a traditional school and distance learning settings. Traditional classroom environments can hamper a child’s ability to function in the real world where deadlines, distractions, and other obstacles are in the way. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Depth … Kim focuses on the EduProtocols model developed by Corippo and Marlena Hebern. This naturally creates flexibility for students with different learning styles and cognitive level. Independent learning forces students to grapple with both their strengths and weaknesses through the educational process. We can learn from famous inventors whose failure in the process became the seed for amazing success down the road. The students chose any topic that was school-appropriate and created activities for their peers to complete. Vocational Education vs Short Courses: Which Path Should You Take? The teacher stands in the way of the student’s natural curiosity. (Editor’s note: The EduProtocol article links to an emoji generator that no longer works. 2. Independent learning includes time management and other life skills. They must also learn how to deal with distraction effectively. Also, it encourages … This writing exercise generally happens once per week. First let’s look at why independent learning is so important. This has really spoke to me, thank you. A facilitator in the classroom can oversee the environment so that each student can work at their own pace and timing. InformED is an Open Colleges blog all about education. Teacher or Facilitator: Is it just semantics? With no prior experience using technology, the English language, or any printed materials, within days these children were actively playing on average 47 apps a day. The workflow or learning routine within EduProtocol stays the same, so students can focus on the content. They feel they are able to contribute to the world and social life surrounding them whether in reception or school. Here’s the new emoji generator.). Studies show that teaching is the highest form of learning. Words like coach, disciplinarian, faculty, instructor, lecturer, and trainer come to mind. She spent several years working for a local Connecticut school at the district level, implementing new technologies to help students and teachers in the classroom. The Importance of Independent Reading. To gain a clear sense of the importance of personalized learning, it helps to envision how personalized learning can take shape in the classroom. Independent learning requires the student to develop other secondary skills like planning and making priority lists and deadlines to achieve their goals. RESOURCE: Teachers or Facilitators? 14th July 2012. In her classroom, Kim actually allowed her students to create their own assignments. We want our students to be active rather than passive learners. These include: Motivation; Independence; Initiative; Time management; Organisation and multi-tasking; Strong reading and writing skills; How can I become an independent learner? The benefits of self-learning are well documented. If you are a human, do not fill in this field. Independent learning often just means discovery learning or unguided […]. Being independent therefore means that you will be more likely to try out new things that you want, rather than what or how you are expected to. For example, Kim’s students already knew how to work in Google Classroom and create slide decks in a collaborative manner. The officials weren’t sure. Standardized testing is the benchmark for funding, and teachers are instructed to teach “to the test” to ensure good marks. When the process is part of the goal, failure isn’t quite so scary. 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