Independent Learning in Psychology

A great display board up in Psychology that encourages students to engage in independent learning.

ind learning

New to the school I expected students to be familiar with the ideas of tasks outside of the classroom – some call it ‘homework’ but I prefer to refer to it as independent learning. Our students have gasped in horror at the thought of working outside of the classroom on their own – but this is where they are wrong – does independent learning have to be on your own? – NO – could it be with a pal, could it be in a study group, could one person guide another in a Socratic way, could one student coach another, could one mentor another to success? I have posed these questions to my students and are beginning to get the message – could independent learning actually be fun ?…. when they get this they get my point and feel less stressed by the idea…

Could independent learning be really creative? – Could they research, create a podcast, mind map, make a model or generate a film on the lesson just been taught or their next lesson. In Psychology we are trialling a pre- reading tactic where students come to the lesson having already read what the next lesson covers – they may even generate some higher order questions as a result – early days but some enthusiastic responses so far to creative independent learning.

Celia and Ann in Psychology.

Perhaps something all departments could consider for their displays? I wonder whether students really understand and appreciate the importance of this skill? Certainly those who have completed an EPQ in the sixth form do and they really value the development of these abilities as a result of completing such a project. But what about the others? Do they still expect too much spoon-feeding? I suspect so. There is more work to do with them in this regard. Maybe displays are a move in the right direction – if they can be made to read them!



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