Skills and attributes that encourage independent learning: a case study of teachers, parents and students

Lockwood, J 2008, Skills and attributes that encourage independent learning: a case study of teachers, parents and students, Masters by Research, Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Skills and attributes that encourage independent learning: a case study of teachers, parents and students
Author(s) Lockwood, J
Year 2008
Abstract The following single case study took place at Buffymont Primary School in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. Participants of the study were seven teachers, six early years’ teachers and one art specialist and four families, parents and students of the school. The participants were asked about their views on what they perceive to be the necessary skills and attributes needed to become independent learners. Participants were then asked what type of learning environment they believe lead to the acquisition of these skills and attributes.

These views were obtained through face - to - face interviews with participants from the three groups as well as non-participant observations in teacher participants’ classrooms as well as documents reviewed within the school and the Department of Education and Training. Gathering this data took approximately thirty two weeks during 2005.

The study was grounded by an extensive review of the literature of esteemed educators who emphasised the importance of teaching the whole child (Longworth, 2003, Lambert, 2000) to develop the skills and attributes needed to be independent learners. The literature revealed that there are a number of skills needed to achieve independent learning. These skills can be acquired through an environment where play and choice is encouraged and open-ended learning centres are presented to students. (Slentz and Krogh, 2001, Perry, 2004, Nodding 2000).

The findings in this case study suggest that a learning environment which is designed to cater to individual students’ interests and learning needs is needed to support students to become independent learners. These environments may include open-ended learning centres, such as:
 Box construction centre
 Publishing area
 Dramatic play centre e.g. a home corner
 Block area
 Cooking area
 Nature table
which cater for the multiple ways in which students learn and focus on the acquisition of skills rather than a content driven curriculum. The findings further suggest teachers, parents and students highly value social skills such as:
 working interdependently
 cooperation
 good communication skills
 able to show understanding and empathy
when it comes to students becoming independent learners.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Independent learning
Effective learning
Open-ended activities
Whole Child Approach
Skills Acquisition
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Created: Fri, 09 Dec 2011, 10:57:08 EST by Guy Aron
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