Empowering Students to Become Self-Directed Learners

Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. (A.A Milne)

Like Edward Bear, many students find themselves just ‘bumping along’ during the majority of their high school years. Some students take until Year 12 to realise they need to change their approach, while some do it earlier and others realise all too late.

As proves to be the case with many students, most challenges are based on aspects not ‘taught’ in the typical school curriculum. Such challenges include;

  • Mindset; being self-aware and having an attitude allowing for perseverance and staying motivated.
  • Well-being: managing stress & anxiety, and
  • Metacognition: Understanding the unique strategies that could be applied to learn and study more effectively.

Support from Schools

Most schools provide a variety of support resources for their students. Passionate and competent teachers, pastoral care services, and the provision of extra support classes are some of the many ways schools bend over backwards to help their students.

In addition, some of the more progressive schools deliver wellness and positive psychology programs to help improve student well-being; despite resources being spread very thin (e.g. most schools typically employ one or two Psychologists and/or counsellors).

Whilst it is fantastic that students can benefit from the extra support provided from schools, an unwanted dynamic can eventuate between the student and school. That is, students may adopt a sense of entitlement believing that it’s the school’s prime responsibility to help them improve. Although schools are clearly there to help, some students feel it’s their school’s responsibility to do the learning as well as the teaching for them!

Empowering students to take control

There’s an abundance of research highlighting the importance of self-efficacy and self-regulation for students to perform at their optimum. In particular, studies have shown that when students proclaim ultimate control over their learning (accompanied with the belief that they can improve), they usually outperform those who do not adopt this belief.

The realisation of no longer solely relying on factors outside of one’s direct control (such as teachers, clarity of lesson, type of resources etc.) improves learning outcomes for students. Deciding to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and take greater control enables students to become more ‘active’ as opposed to ‘passive’ in their approach to learning.

With the perspective of viewing teachers as one of many resources at their disposal, and that it is up to them to “do the work”, students will become self-driven and empowered learners.

Why does MindScholar exist?

Like with the story about Edward Bear, MindScholar exists to help students find a better way to ‘get down the stairs’ and improve their approach.

Students are provided a ‘safe’ forum in which they can reflect on and adopt strategies to improve their mindset, learning and study habits. They are encouraged to use their learnings to change their current approach to study for the better.

Perhaps most significantly, our platform provides students with an opportunity to improve their self-efficacy & regulation – encouraging greater control over and empowerment with their learning.

Visit www.mindscholar.com.au to find out how MindScholar Online Learning (MOL) can help your students become self-directed learners and receive an entire term’s free use.

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