Towards self-learning

Self-learning is learning without the guidance of masters or institutions, but it does not necessarily mean that all learning must take place in isolation from others. A self-learning process may comprise of different activities, such as reflective writing activities, participation in study groups, and electronic communications among several other possible and relevant activities involving various resources as and when necessary. The role of a teacher/learned person can also occasionally be considered as an integral part of self-learning, which can be attained through discussions with the learners, promotion of critical thinking, and evaluation of outcomes, to help to secure resources, and in other possible ways. The key necessities of self-learning include understanding how to learn to fulfill specific needs in different situations, learning without external aids, and preparing for the future. The key benefit of self-learning is that it makes one more independent and capable while transferring learning, in terms of both knowledge and skills, from one situation to the other. Self-learning should be more emphasized to popularize right from childhood days through various open-learning programs, non-traditional courses and other innovative programs that suit specific learning needs and environments.

An autodidact may or may not have formal education. An autodidact is an individual who chooses the subject, study materials and the studying pattern and time as per his/her desire. Their study is either a complement or an alternative to the formal education system. Several notable contributions have been made by these autodidacts. When we talk of self-learning, the names of some of the famous autodidacts, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, and Srinivasa Ramanujan, evolve in our thought and make us realize their immense contributions to the humankind. There are several self-learners in the present day society who are contributing significantly by developing new technologies, through cultural enrichment and in many other ways.

Self-directed learning is a type of instructional strategy or a process in which students take charge of their learning process. With guidance from the teachers, students individually or in a group decide what and how they are going to learn, but the overall concept is that the students take ownership of their learning.

In self-learning, the students take ownership of their learning.

In fact, students take the initiative to diagnose their learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify resources for learning, select and implement effective learning strategies, and evaluate learning outcomes in a self-directed learning environment. All educational establishments should always try finding out timely and effective ways to support self-directed learning as there are several benefits of such a learning process. Through such a process, the learners can become more empowered to take increasingly more responsibilities for various decisions associated with the learning endeavor.

Self-learning skills can also contribute significantly after formal education to do anything successfully, including helping one explore different ways of thinking and makes one able to face difficult situations on their own without any help. It also helps in building self-confidence, makes one more responsible and self-disciplined, and allows tackling problems based on self-capabilities. We are living in a society that greatly depends on the merit of its citizen. There is no doubt that self-learning can help significantly if one wants to become rich in knowledge, develop requisite skills and contribute significantly to the society to keep oneself in a respectable position.

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