Why and how can we make our pupils ready to learn independently?

Research taster

Teachers who are less successful at fostering learner independence generally have more fixed attitudes towards pupils as learners and learning than their more successful colleagues. One study found that although they said that it is important to promote independent learning, less successful teachers felt unable to make the necessary changes to their classroom practice to achieve it. Some teachers feel that circumstances beyond their control, such as being tied to a set syllabus, inhibit their ability to teach effectively. Others want pupils to show they are ready for independence but do not themselves manage to promote that readiness. For example, a teacher might comment that pupils are impatient with each other or that they don’t value what each other has to say, but not take steps to help their pupils learn how to work together.

Your evidence

If you haven’t always been able to make the changes to your practice you’ve wanted to make, this activity may help you to reflect on why and what could help you to make these changes.  Make three columns headed: Change, Barrier, Support.

Moving forward


You can find out more about fostering learner independence on the TLRP Learning how to learn project at: http://www.tlrp.org/proj/phase11/phase2f.html

You can find out more about how a group of teachers went about making changes to their practice on the GTC’s Research of the Month website at: http://www.gtce.org.uk/policyandresearch/research/ROMtopics/afl/