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Independent Learning

Why does independent learning matter?

Independent learning contributes to the development of self-esteem, identity and wellbeing. Doing something for yourself produces a powerful sense of achievement and success. When children have opportunities to make choices, to attempt tasks for themselves, and to take on increasing responsibilities, their sense of themselves as competent members of society grows.

Children have a sense of ‘agency’ when they feel in control of things that happen around them; when they feel that they can influence events. This is an important sense for children to develop. Too often adults treat children as though they are incapable of making decisions or holding valid opinions. If, instead, we listen to and respect children’s words and ideas, we model collaboration and cooperation and show that we recognise children’s capabilities.

Children are active learners. From birth they constantly seek to explore and make sense of their surroundings. When we recognise and make use of this fact we encourage the development of independence, promote effective learning and also extend children’s learning and their sense of wellbeing. Promoting the development of independence, alongside inter-dependence, enables children to become active participants in their own learning as well as active and valued members of a group. Such experiences form the foundation for long-term successful learning, positive self-esteem and future success.

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Importance of teaching children to be independent:

  • It enables children to gain firsthand knowledge
  • It enhances a child’s self esteem
  • It prepares children to be able to handle failure and stress
  • It gives a child the opportunity to select what will make them happy

Through independence, children got to enhance their skills, learn right and wrong, develop their personality, and take decisions. To learn the ways of life, children need to experience life. This way, they will grow up strong, ready to take on life challenges, emotionally secured, and happy.