A worksheet to start you thinking about your views on Independent Learning


1. WHAT is Independent Learning?
Decide how you would define Independent Learning and then see how many other teachers agree with you.
Based on their views what would you add, delete or change from your definition?

2. WHY encourage Independent Learning?
Answer this question honestly from four perspectives:
- the students
- you, the teacher
- the curriculum
- the institute

3. WHO should be involved?
And is it more than just the student? If yes, can it really be Independent Learning then?

4. WHEN can we use Independent Learning?
If your answer is not "At any time", why not?

5. WHERE does Independent Learning take place?

6. HOW can you integrate it (more) into your classes?

Here are some quotes taken from students and teachers about Independent Learning.
How would you respond to them (if you think they need a response).
Student quotes:
Independent learning is boring.
It makes the subjects difficult to understand.
The teacher just gives us sheets to do.
We need to discuss topics, not just read about them.
But I want my teacher to correct my mistakes while I am working.
I prefer working with other students in groups.
I do not want to do the teacher's job. It's her job to make the choices and teach me what I need to know.
I like Independent Learning. The teacher never knows if I've done the work, so I get good grades without working hard.
Teacher quotes:
Independent Learning is a good cop-out. I don't have to do anything.
But where do I stand? What's my role?
It's a nice idea, but it never works because all institutions and programmes have restraints which prohibit true independent learning.