When students truly become active learners, they tend to realize that there could be more than one correct answer to a question, also that the correct answer could be more subjective than objective in nature. All this extracts from the ability to think independently, and this is where teachers step in to help students hone their skills. Independent thinking ability not only indicates the learning creativity of the students, but also that he or she is a great leader. Such skills help the students to realize the world through keen observation and personal experience, and become competent enough to make smart decisions based on the knowledge and intuition attained. So how do you do it?
In this blog post, we’re going to study the effective ways through which educators can improve their students’ independent thinking ability.
Establish an open environment
A typical classroom management would be the most commonly seen sight of students sitting and listening to the explanations teacher is providing. However, when looking to incorporate the independent thinking ability in the learners, the classroom needs to be changed quite differently. Clearly inform the learners that there will be less routine lectures and more engaging discussions based on the subject material learned. The simplest thing any educator can do is by putting a sign in the classroom asking the students to engage in the discussion at the last 10 minutes of the period.
Reward initiative work
It’s enough with the old process of providing students the same assignments and assessments in order to gauge their understanding level. This is why educators should inform the students to master active listening, rather than traditional passive listening. For example, any student in the Social Studies class wishes to create and present a report on ‘Industrial Reforms’ should be encouraged, a move for a richer understanding of the subject.
Inspect independent work
Educators need to go more and more specific when reviewing the work of any student, rather than simply grading and writing comments on their submission. The best way to do this is by following the 3×3 rule—provide the students three appreciative comments and three tips for improvement.
Assign research work
Consider you have a class containing 30 students, is it wise to ask all of them to solve the same Calculus problem or answer a conceptual history question in the same manner repeatedly? Absolutely not! Only if you want to promote their independent thinking skills. You can ask each student to complete a different research project throughout the academic tenure. The point is to encourage each student to think differently and relate the project with the respective subject. For example, ask a student to discuss all the constitutional laws of each state that unifies for a particular objective.
Consider a situation in which a student requires some serious assignment writing service. A writing piece something as large and complex as a thesis will easily call for quality critical and individual thinking skills. This is why the prime aim of assigning research work is to encourage the students to discuss their topics and research in front of the class, and acquire a better understanding of their respective topics, hence producing a masterpiece in any kind of coursework writing.
Ask the students to ‘teach’
Asking the students to discuss their research and findings with the class comes with two major advantages. First, the teaching students will hone their presentation and public speaking skills, second, the remaining students in the class get to learn the subject in much detail and from a different perspective. Several experts say that in some cases, getting to learn from fellow students helps other students to learn more quickly and effectively, after all the students have their own way of thinking that connects well with the rest of the class.
Allow the students to ‘pretend’
Instruct the students to get in the subject material in a realistic manner. For example, asking the students to visualize living in the USA before and after the presidentship of Abraham Lincoln will help them understand the subject material better and in an engaging manner. You can also go creative by creating a play for the students to act related to a particular chapter. The play will make even the most seemingly boring and tedious subject interesting and easy to grasp. Another way could be to ask the students to prepare a speech about the subject topic.