Independent Learning What, How, Why & When?

Report
What does ‘independent
learning’ mean to you?
What excites you about IL?
What scares you about IL?
Dan Dolman & Martin Cobbold
What It Means
“Independent learning is a process, a method
and a philosophy of education whereby a
learner acquires knowledge by his or her own
efforts and develops the ability for enquiry and
critical evaluation”
http://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/05/independent-learning/
Where Do You Pitch Your Teaching?
Why Do You Pitch It In That Way?
Dependent = Shallow
Independent = Deep
Interdependent = Profound
‘Learning Through Doing’
• Kesten: “independent learning is that learning in
which the learner, in conjunction with relevant
others, can make the decisions necessary to meet
the learner’s own learning needs.”
• DCSF (2008) – report highlighting the growing
need for children to learn how to learn, due to
the ever-changing world that they are a part of.
What Does IL Involve?
• Finding and collecting information
• Making decisions about what to study and
when
• Carrying out investigations or projects
• Learners learning at their own pace (ICT or
VLEs)
What Does IL Allow?
• Holistic approach – enquiry based and game
based learning
• Constructive roles for students as meaning
makers
• Peer to peer learning & collaborative learning
• Engagement & involvement of learners –
involving them in the process
The Grand Vision
Sack ourselves!
What it might look like…
Video #1 - complete independence.
Video #3 – some, after traditional teacher lead
section.
Dan’s Experiences
1. Video #2 – Check your experts.
2. Chaos!
My Experiences
• Using it in small blasts. Independent bits!
– E.g. no question rule, especially for lower school
• I haven’t braved going fully independent!
• Why?
– Curriculum content (especially KS4 onwards)
– Time (as we will discover, planning is key and planning
demands time. But so does marking, open evenings,
parent’s evenings and real life!)
– I haven’t found where it can fit, without it becoming ‘samey’
(e.g. in Year 9 with South Africa)
– Balance of learning styles
– Not a novelty!
My Experiences
• Using it in small blasts. Independent bits!
– E.g. no question rule, especially for lower school
• I haven’t braved going fully independent!
• Why?
– Curriculum content (especially KS4 onwards)
– Time (as we will discover, planning is key and planning
demands time. But so does marking, open evenings,
parent’s evenings and real life!)
– I haven’t found where it can fit, without it becoming ‘samey’
(e.g. in Year 9 with South Africa)
– Balance of learning styles
– Not a novelty!
However…
• I had seen some of the benefits, so wanted to see
how far along the seesaw I could go
– Getting to know pupils better – seeing new skills
(Imogen C-O as group leader); seeing what they like
doing
– Stumbling upon new techniques e.g. my Year 10,
‘choose your plenary question’
– Being able to engage with students
– Wanting to show PGCE student that you don’t always
have to be ‘out the front’
– Being able to be a quicker/better judge of progress
Year 8 Poverty Lesson – The Balance?
Dan’s Recipe
• Pick a lesson
• Create very clear success criteria (e.g .mark
scheme BTEC media)
• Create very clear resources
• Create very clear tasks
• Give all these to the students
• STEP BACK AND WAIT
Common Pitfalls & Solutions
• Teacher need to be QC
• Student ‘play’ at being teacher (this is what they
know – you’ve spent several years modelling it!)
• Students (esp G&T) go ‘the wrong way’. Redirect
carefully – you mustn’t undermine their fledgling
independence
• Nothing happens – Don’t take over – give some
students pointers and let them filter it in.
In Class Technique
•
•
•
•
•
Don’t answer questions – give strategies/clues/pointer
Find experts in the class and use them where possible
Redirect to other students or resource where possible.
If you do input to a student – ask them to disseminate
‘Jog’ the lesson
– Ask a student to input a technique or skill.
– Ask a student to correct the groups working methods to
ensure success.
Scaffolding
How To Teach Independence Overtly
• Reinforce independent practice by students
• 2 plenaries – learning and independence
• Use tests sooner in the project to pull more
toward the ‘correct’ methods
• PLTS – students lean on study skills to be
independent
• The deep end – will show YOU what they need
(not what you think they need)
How Balanced Are You?
• Where are you on the scale?
• Where do you want to be on the scale?
• How would IL improve your teaching?
• Pick a lesson that you are going to teach soon.
– Make it independent, thinking about the balance
that you need for that class.
– Teach it!
What does ‘independent
learning’ mean to you?
What excites you about IL?
What scares you about IL?
Dan Dolman & Martin Cobbold

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