The Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE), an international centre of expertise in evidence-based policy and practice, shows some of the benefits of a shift towards more independent learning.
CUREE found that independent learning could improve academic performance, motivation and confidence. Studies showed some students in particular, such as those with special learning needs and socially excluded children, felt more engaged in their learning.
However, learning needed to be scaffolded with support and feedback. Teachers played a key role in facilitating students’ independence. Further empirical evidence would strengthen understanding of the size of the effect.
Teachers need to strike the balance between encouraging independent learning and providing students with guidance.