Giving Compass' Take:

• Sucheta Kamath discusses five essential learning habits that promote self-discovery in student learning. 

• How can funders support districts, schools, and teachers that want to promote self-discovery? What could this look like in your community? 

• Here are the four tenets of inquiry-based learning that is fundamental to student-centered teaching

The mental skills that guide self-directed learning are collectively called Executive Function, and these skills allow the student to focus with intention, organize their ideas with clarity, prioritize goals, apply social understanding to the collaborative process, solve problems with flexibility, and envision their future self.

Sucheta Kamath outlines five important learning habits that help students gain personal knowledge, master process-specific skills, and seek out personal insights to better strategize for independent learning. Teaching students these five Executive Function strategies will arm them with critical focus, planning, and problem-solving skills, leading to a heightened capacity for self-directed learning.

  1. Teach students to become self-reflective learners, which allows them to…
    1. Recognize their individual strengths and limitations
    2. Practice the art of self-reflection, and do so often
    3. Be able to incorporate multiple perspectives and different types of feedback to pursue personal growth
  2.  Teach students to take charge of their attention, which allows them to…
    1. Understand the purpose of their learning by setting clear attentional targets
    2. Hone their focus to avoid self-distraction and self-interruption
  3. Teach students how to plan for the immediate and distant future, which allows them to…
    1. Develop planning skills by practicing breaking down tasks into smaller, more achievable parts
    2. Visualize their future self, both in the short-term and long-term
  4. Teach students to be agile and flexible thinkers, which allows them to…
    1. Cultivate strategies for adapting to unfamiliar environments or situations
    2. Transition seamlessly from one task to the next
    3. Bounce back in the face of difficult roadblocks
  5. Teach learners how to learn from their mistakes, which allows them to…
    1. Evaluate and assess their own performance accurately
    2. Connect causes of errors to their corresponding effects, helping pinpoint areas of improvement
    3. Understand how school-related mistakes might extend beyond the classroom

Read the full article about student self-discovery in learning by Sucheta Kamath at Education Dive.