There  have been enough research papers written, articles published, speeches given  which points out what we already know. The present generation of students will  be in professions that have not even been conceptualized.  Still we insist on “what to teach” rather  than “how a child is learning”. There is very little focus on whether the  student is enjoying the learning process and developing competencies like-  creativity, critical thinking, research abilities, reasoning and self  -management. So what is the solution? Unless the ownership of learning moves to  students rather than teachers we are not even close to solving the real  problem. Each and every child should be guided on how to become a “self- directed  learner”

If  we want our students to succeed in future, they have to transition to being  self-directed learners – ones who are willing to take the ownership and learn  on their own. The freely available content on multiple platforms have made this  relatively simpler, it’s just that students have to acquire the skills of  research and inquiry. Self-directed learning encompasses a wide variety of  modes- hands-on learning, peer learning, assimilating feedback to improve, and  independent research. Educators have to consciously integrate these aspects in  every day classroom to enable students to become self-directed learners.

How can educators support?

Start  by making students aware of their responsibilities as learners. Teaching and  learning goes hand in hand. Unless students understand the expectations from  them, efficacy of the      classroom will be limited

  1. Provide  opportunities by allocating pre-work to research a particular topic, rather  than just a post discussion practice based assessment
  2. Have  groups formed in the class who have specific tasks of presenting a topic,  creating worksheets, developing project work etc

Teachers  can further support children by identifying various referencing sources,  connect them to mentors or parents who can provide more information and finally  give them tools to assimilate their learning. Most of the above pointers form  an integral part of the teaching process at Oakridge International Schools in Bangalore

How can parents support?

“Parents  are teachers, and home is a child’;s first and most important classroom” –  Hillary Clinton

Steps that parents can take to support children

Encourage your children to ask  questions concerning things around them. This develops natural curiosity in  them – a critical component for self-directed learning.

Instead  of giving direct answers to their questions, lead them to sources where they  can find the answers themselves.

Provide  them with basic fundamentals of research- like proper referencing to avoid  plagiarism, taking notes, creating mind maps etc.

Internet  is a rich source of information, however without proper guidance students will  be distracted. Always have a conversation on do’s and don’ts of internet  surfing

Finally  don’t just judge the performance by the final output but the process that was  followed

Gradually  teachers and parents should move to a role of being facilitators to learning  giving way to student led classes.

“I  never teach my pupil, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn” –  Albert Einstein


About oakridgeint

Oakridge International Schools offers an international educational opportunity that prepares students for life, work and civic roles in a globally interconnected world.
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