Self-study: Discussion with Irina, 13.2.2012

These are some notes on a discussion with Irina Buchinska about the value of self-study for all learners and how it might be started and used at different levels. This post discusses the aims of self-study and how it was started with the 5th class.

• Keep in mind overall picture – where are we going? Learners should eventually be able to plan their own work, and should become more and more responsible for their own work, for choosing materials, for learning. As a person they should learn to ask questions, to reflect, to strive to know the unknown (seek out the unknown), have a positive attitude towards the unknown, be willing to take risks, and be open-minded to alternatives.

• Question-asking has to be gradually delegated to students so that they believe they are capable of doing it. Increases motivation.


- Teacher keeps asking,

’What do you know?’, ’What don’t you know?’, ’What do you want to know?’ Pupil response at first was silence or ’How can I know what I don’t know?’

Teacher – in parallel to asking these questions every lesson, also asked at end of every lesson:

What was my task today? How did I perform it? At least one question about it. (Aims can be seen in terms of questions)

• Pupils gradually get used to going deeper, to reflecting on their own work, and are gradually able to answer the question, ’What esle would you like to know?’, reflecting not only on what was done, but on future.

• When doing a writing task, for example, they produce a first draft, and then write a list of the problems they faced. Working through these is their next aim.

• Correction of own mistakes, eg from a test, can be seen as self-study for class 5.

To see how this could be continued in Class 7, look hereSelf-study, Class 7 - a discussion with Irina Buchinska



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