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Critics of Knowles (including a forward-thinking Knowles himself) developed the theory of Andragogy into a continuum. Each of the six assumptions became a progression from teacher-centered (dependent) learning to pupil-centered (independent) learning. Any learner, whatever their age or stage, can be described (or describe themselves) in terms of levels of (in)dependence. For example Self-concept develops as learners gradually take more responsibility for their learning, its planning and evaluation. This, of course, depends on having the opportunities to do so.
If you want to develop independence in pupils, start by not changing anything! Simply assess what levels of dependence you offer already. Then use that information to decide what to do next. It's best not to jump from 0 to 3. Go step by step; a gradual release is better.
It's my opinion that if you offer level 0 all the time, you are letting your pupils down. I also believe that if you offer level 3 all the time you are letting your pupils down just as much. Why? because your pupils' adult lives will be full of challenges at all levels and they need to know how to operate effectively in each: sometimes we just have to do as we are told (level 0); but at others we're in new and unfamiliar territory, on our own, and have to grit up, crack on and creatively deal with the problem.
A detailed and helpful literature review of independent learning – if you want a very solid research base.
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