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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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Presentation on theme: "What does ‘independent learning’ mean to you? What excites you about IL? What scares you about IL? Dan Dolman & Martin Cobbold."— Presentation transcript:

1 What does ‘independent learning’ mean to you? What excites you about IL? What scares you about IL? Dan Dolman & Martin Cobbold

2 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”

3 Dependent = Shallow Independent = Deep Interdependent = Profound Where Do You Pitch Your Teaching? Why Do You Pitch It In That Way?

4 ‘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.

5 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)

6 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 What Does IL Allow?

7 The Grand Vision Sack ourselves! What it might look like… Video #1 - complete independence. Video #3 – some, after traditional teacher lead section.

8 Dan’s Experiences 1.Video #2 – Check your experts. 2.Chaos!

9 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!

10 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!

11 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

12 Year 8 Poverty Lesson – The Balance?

13 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

14 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.

15 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.

16 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)

17 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!

18 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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