Learner autonomy occurs when students take charge of their education, both in what they learn and how they learn it. It begins with the assumption that students are capable of self-direction and can create a proactive, autonomous attitude to their education. As a result, they must become independent learners who can continue to learn well outside of the classroom. Let’s start with Why Is Student Autonomy Important.
Learner autonomy is especially significant in the realm of higher education. Students may have limited time in the classroom to study, but they may need to expand their knowledge and abilities quickly.
In the classroom, student autonomy refers to students taking charge of their education. Parents raised in more conventional, controlled homes frequently confuse autonomy with freedom, but it refers to self-governance or self-direction as opposed to being directed or propelled by external influences such as instructors or curricula.
Autonomous learners are capable participants in the learning process, assisting in determining what to learn, how to learn it, and at what pace to learn. Educators adapt to each learner’s individual requirements by altering the material, manner, and pace of instruction, allowing each kid to grasp the same concept as their peers, but in ways that are appropriate for their ability and motivation. As a result, the classroom experience shifts.
Teachers can use autonomous learning strategies like the Campfire (a time when a class gathers to share and learn from collective wisdom), the Watering Hole (a time when learners develop from peers in a small group setting), and the Cave (a time for assessment and study) to create a supportive group learning environment while still encouraging autonomy.
In a classroom-based on learner autonomy, students have access to tools with which to teach themselves, and the teacher acts as an auxiliary facilitator of student learning. The liberty of students does not stop in the classroom. Learners that are trained to be autonomous in the classroom will continue their independent critical thinking and learning abilities into their adult life, making them extremely capable grownups.
How Does Autonomy Concern Students?
Student autonomy in education is well-founded in the Chinese metaphor: you can bring the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Teachers may supply all of the essentials for learning daily. As a result, they may guide their “horses” to abundant resources. However, it is the students’ responsibility to create a willingness to learn on a professional level. Autonomous learners have a clear knowledge of their learning goals, as well as learning activities and results. This implies that individuals assume responsibility for their education.
Learning Initiatives Students Must Take
If students want to follow learner Autonomy, then they have to take some learning initiatives which will help them gradually build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Why Does Autonomous Learning Work and How Can Teachers Establish It?
Learner autonomy is practical for several reasons:
- Students will have the opportunity to learn the material and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills independently, with the safety net of having a nonjudgmental and helpful mentor who will assist them if they need it. It will allow the teacher to act as a facilitator of knowledge rather than a personal tutor in the classroom.
- Students are more than ready to remove the training wheels when entering higher education or a job environment where learning must get done independently with no safety net. Students are more than ready to remove the ‘training wheels.’
There are a few things instructors may do in their classrooms to promote independent learning, as well as a few reasons why it is so beneficial.
Teachers must do the following to develop learner autonomy:
- Instructors should maintain a distance from students so that they regard teachers as facilitators of their learning rather than personal tutors.
- Establish learner independence by teaching students to seek out information for themselves rather than depending on lecturers to spoon-feed their course content.
- Encourage pupils to own their learning styles and become self-aware of them. Teachers may provide kids the skills to build their learning styles by teaching them alternative methods to learn and take notes.
- Encourage student-to-student learning. In many cases, peer-to-peer learning has already proven to be as successful as, if not more effective than, teacher-to-student learning. Teachers may build settings in which students collaborate with peers to learn by designing classrooms based on learner autonomy. This can then provide them with the necessary springboard to learn independently.
A Typical Issues For Instructors In Supporting Autonomous Learning
- There isn’t much room in the curriculum. Outside of the classroom, learners have little exposure to English.
- Learners’ lack of prior experience in self-directed learning.
- Lack of motivation among students.
- The teacher’s reliance on the students.
- Learners’ primary concern is passing examinations.
- Teachers and students are lacking inappropriate materials.
- The inability of learners to leverage resources and learner’s English competence is limited.
- Curricula and resources that are prescribed. Teacher autonomy is lacking, and instructors’ expectations are low.
It is intended that by recognizing the problems of encouraging autonomous learning, teachers would be able to cope with risks and achieve a favorable influence from autonomous learning.
We must first offer youngsters lots of responsibility if we want them to accept responsibility for their actions. Making decisions, not following orders, is how a youngster learns to make decisions.” This is possibly the most important consequence of autonomy in education for children: the abilities it promotes extend to their capacity to succeed in all aspects of life, including academics, the arts, household life, social life, and politics.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is self-directed learning beneficial?
Learners that use self-regulated learning techniques are better prepared for lifelong learning and the ability to transfer skills, information, and abilities from one area or context to another.
- What role does the instructor have in self-directed learning?
Teachers play the roles of facilitator, counselor, resource, and manager/organizer in increasing learner autonomy.
- What role does a favorable environment have in promoting self-directed learning?
The classroom should have a welcoming atmosphere that emphasizes students’ abilities. When a youngster exhibits bad behavior, try not to take it personally or correct the child in front of others. Act as an observer instead, trying to figure out why the behavior is occurring.
- Why is independent learning so vital for university success?
It will test your commitment and drive while also improving your organizational and time management abilities. Being an independent student entails being an active learner who is responsible for their homework, obligations, and deadlines, and it is the key to academic success once mastered.