Modern-day corporate experts believe that whatever skills professionals hold today, are sure to become obsolete in a matter of a decade. Just in two years, a new skill will come into demand and by the time half a decade passes, professionals will have to master an upcoming skill to stay in the workforce. And if that is what the 21st century is going to be like, should our children be lifelong students visiting some form of school every five years? Naturally, that does not make sense. But what does is the need for self-directed learning or SDL. The capability to learn on their own will become an asset to every student heading into the fast-paced future where they will need to pick up a new skill every year to guarantee professional success.
What is Self-Directed Learning or SDL?
Going by the moniker, self-directed learning is a learning style that occurs in the absence of an instructor. You can imagine schools as establishments of directed learning. Here, a syllabus is set by a central board and a curriculum is defined by the schools. The teachers plan the flow of subjects and students consume information by reading from textbooks, listening to the lectures, or attending laboratory sessions. The drive is external. The board, school, and the teachers decide what, when, and how the students will learn. In a way, the students follow a learning curve that is directed by a supervisor.
In self-directed learning, this external entity is absent, yet learning continues to follow its own pace. Students decide what, when and how they want to learn. The best school in gurgaon, will look to make self-directed learners out of their students as such a group is better motivated to pursue education and have a higher performance benchmark than directed students. SDL paves the way for students to become lifelong learners. When the time comes for learning something new, they will identify the need themselves and pick up the information on their own. As evident, the practice fits perfectly into the demands of the 21st century.
How to inspire students towards SDL?
The best nursery school in Gurgaon will inspire students towards self-directed learning from an early age. And as they progress in their grades, the inspiration will continue in its own way. The University of Waterloo dissects SDL into four steps:
- Assessing the readiness to learn
- Establishing learning goals
- Engaging in the learning process
- Evaluating the extent of learning
To inspire students, schools must extend its inspiration individually into these four steps, provide the children with the necessary resources and ambiance, and help them in every way to continue the endeavour. Typically, schools can achieve SDL by:
- Raising curiosity
Curiosity will set the tone for self-directed learning. Teachers can strategically introduce new topics to the students and ask them to research the same with appropriate freedom. The complexity of the new subject will depend on the students’ existing knowledge, learning capabilities, available resources and much more, all of which take care of the first step towards SDL.
- Identifying the resources
Once curiosity has peaked, students need to understand the optimum ways to learn. Should they seek help from peers or visit the library on their own? Should they access the internet or read the magazine instead? These help to create learning goals. Speaking simply, students here decide whether they want to learn by reading one whole book or from the internet by watching a video.
- Motivating in the right way
Self-directed learning is a tedious process and thus demands high levels of motivation. Initially, schools have to step in here to create a growth mindset and intrinsic motivation where students will want to learn for the fun of it. Marks and prizes are incentives that do not work well to raise motivation. True engagement in learning comes when the drive is internal.
- Having the platform to display
Every student needs a platform to display their hard work and gather appreciation. And that is why the top institutes in the top school in gurgaon have science exhibitions, award ceremonies, essay writing competitions and so on. If a student took the path of SDL, he/she will feel inspired when his/her endeavour is appreciated. Feeling valued will initiate the next cycle of self-directed learning.
The Alpine Convent School employs such techniques to foster the skill of self-directed learning among its students. It acknowledges the needs of the modern world and how students must continuously learn in order to thrive both in their personal and professional lives. Alpine creates lifelong learners not merely by handing their students books but by inspiring them to read it intentionally and retain the knowledge for future use. Self-directed learning is no more an option. Students require this skill to cope with 21st-century demands.