Treffinger's description of self directed learning declares that children will learn better if they are fully involved in their own learning. They will become increasingly motivated to learn when they are given more and more freedom to choose whatever activity peaks their interest. (Berger, 2005).
Motivation is an important element as learning depends on students believing that they are competent to learn. Treffinger's (1995) Model of Self Directed Learning is useful for assessing a child's level of self-direction, or independence as it specifies four levels moving from teacher directed through to increasing capability for independence. (Davis & Rimm, 1994)1.Teacher directed - teacher sets work for student to carry out.
2.Self directed 1 - teacher sets work and students have choice.
3.Self directed 2 - students involved in creating their own options.
4.Self directed 3 - students create choices and self evaluate.
With learning measured in this way, teachers have a better ability to set up a curriculum rich environment that is suitable to meet the needs of the child, and be aware of the children that may need more help with certain activities. "Responsible self-direction of learning does not "just happen"; therefore, it is important for gifted, talented, and creative students to have support and well planned assistance at home and in school building independence". (Treffinger, 1981. p. 232)The main aim of Treffinger's model of self directed learning is for the children to develop the necessary skills required for them to take control of their own individual learning. Te Whāriki states that "each child learns in his or her own way. The curriculum builds on a child's current needs, strengths, and interests by allowing children choices and by encouraging them to take responsibility for their learning". (Ministry of Education, 1996. p. 20).
In order for this to work effectively it is necessary for the teacher to be able to notice, recognize and respond to children's individual learning needs and stage of development.
This model is very broad and inclusive and takes in the whole of the child, recognizing a wide range of strengths and talents. This holistic approach can be easily implemented in early childhood as in this setting the aim is to have a blend of teacher-directed and child initiated learning. This will allow the child to feel safe and secure about trying new things, and be aware that the teacher will supply the support they need. As a result the child will be given the opportunity to have control over, and responsibility for their own learning. They will also gain a greater sense of achievement as well as a healthy awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses. "Te Whāriki (1996) states, "each child learns in his or her own way. The curriculum builds on a child's needs, strengths, and interests by allowing children choices and by encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning". (MoE, 1996. P.20).
My image portrays my understanding of Treffinger's model for self-directed learning. In early childhood we use scaffolding as a support for a child's learning. Vygotsky teaches that scaffolding is necessary to allow the child to move onto the next level, he believes their level of potential can be developed as others who are more capable guide them. (Smith, 1992). This is evident in the teacher learner model. Scaffolding essentially means doing some of the work for the student who isn't quite ready to accomplish a task independently. This is similar to the support you would see on a building site where builders have...