Become An Independent Learner !
As a learner gradually proceeds towards higher education, one factor that greatly impacts her(/his) academic success is the self-regulation acquired and practiced. You might not be familiar with the terminologies used by the experts, but we all have experienced the power of simple acts of taking active control of our studies. The dream of ‘affordable quality education for all’ seen by founding fathers of our republic and reiterated by policymakers can definitely be realised when every ‘student’ becomes ‘an independent learner’.
Obviously, independent learning is a superpower to be earned by systematic practice and persistence. (No, there is no genetically modified super-spider which can make you a super with a bite.). Subsequently, I will write about how to address this magical transformation subtly yet efficiently. Till then,
5 things to do to become an Independent Learner!
- Change of Perspective: Your learning takes place in your mind and no-one else has better access to your mind than ‘You’. So it is ‘you’-’the learner’ who is incharge of your own learning and academic progress. So take the initiative. Obviously, you can seek help from teachers, mentors, peers etc as per your discretion.
- Thinking about thinking: All of us talk about thinking of something or understanding a concept. We rarely try to understand ‘understanding’ or think about ‘thinking’. This higher order thinking skill is called metacognition i.e. awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes. It helps learners to see the bigger picture.
- Learner’s ToolKit: There are various methods of reading, note-taking, studying, scheduling and every other aspect of learning. Good amount of research is available to tell you what are the benefits associated with each, but your own experience will tell you better. Remember, best methods vary with subject, standard etc.
- Marshall the resources: Plenty of resources are available for studying, from free to premium. Even the books you have, notes you prepare, questions you solve etc are part of it. Proper indexing with useful summaries of where to find what will be useful. Otherwise the more you study, the greater is the danger of getting lost in chaos.
- Channelizing emotions: Inability to handle own emotions is one of the major causes of below par performance for professionals, sportsmen and also learners. Puberty is the most challenging time of once life in this sense. Learning to channelize the emotional energy in order to continue studying under any circumstances is must.
Mastering self-regulation to become an independent learner is the most important thing you should do. Step out of your comfort zone, keep learning and keep learning about learning.
All the best !
(Note: This is my old blog post, published on one of the websites I am associated with.)