On helping every student become an “independent learner”

Self-regulation skills develop in human beings during the second decade of our existence. Some teenagers will develop it naturally, while others can benefit from some help. Self-directed learners are first a self-regulated person. At Shikshangan, we have identified 9 learning to learn skills, which includes skills like – reading/listening with comprehension, taking notes using appropriate Graphic Organizers, problem solving, planning, seeking help etc. I believe that schools should directly teach these skills as children enter the middle school, and use the next three years to ensure that every student is comfortable with these skills. Therefore, by the time a student enters Std. 9 she is a self-directed learner.

One other way of teaching these skills is a teacher modelling these skills as she is teaching students in the classroom. For example, teacher must use appropriate Graphic Organizers while teaching in the classroom. I also suggest that students should work on exploratory projects in groups of 3-5 where all these skills are utilized. Engaging in such exploratory projects will hone their independent learning skills.

As I argued earlier, helping students become self-directed learners will ensure that such students are not attracted to coaching classes, as well as, a school which makes this possible will be able to withstand the increasing competition from other schools much better.

One other “knowledge area” which schools should focus on is building “entrepreneurial disposition” of students. Such students will be able to prosper well in rapidly changing work-life. More on this topic in my next blog.