Until recently, learning had been confined behind walls, first at home, then at school and finally at university. But, we now live in a borderless world. How could we still confine learning to physical, intellectual and circumstantial boundaries?
Access to information is changing the way we approach knowledge and education. Each one of us is now within a stone’s throw of unlimited data. And we have the choice to ignore that or to activate the secret powers of the independent learners within us. But what makes you an independent learner?
1-You are a master thinker. Whether directed by intuition or logic, you strive when intellectually challenged. You inspect, retrospect and/or introspect to discover what the eye cannot see at first. You might even be somewhat of an over thinker…
2-You learn from your experiences. In fact, you rely on many sources, traditional and non-traditional. You live your life and benefit from all what you encounter to learn and grow.
3-You are wise. It’s that type of wisdom that knows how to connect the dots, how to travel between disciplines and create the new from the old. Critical analysis requires the capacity to step back and have a holistic approach that allows you to draw a clear vision and specific objectives.
4-You value freedom over framework. For you, the decision regarding what to learn is yours to make. You are responsible for your own education and you claim that right loud and clear. The process of discovery is sweeter to you than that of enforcement.
5-You are not paralyzed by the fear of failure. You still experience fear, probably with more intensity than the usual. But, your courage can carry you through all the threats and downfalls. Curiosity leads when scores stop becoming a target by themselves.
6-You have self-discipline and willpower. And you use both to fully invest your time, energy and attention in what you are doing. You do not need the oppressive eye of a Big Brother to walk your way through learning.
7-You are a believer. Your confidence in what you like and in what you do guides you through your learning experiences. Rather than obligation, it’s personal genuine interest that orients your educational choices. And the certitude or hope that this is an essential milestone on your pathway to success.
8-You know patience. You do not cross your arms and wait for a miracle; you work, and you work hard. But your action, though constant, is aware that results don’t happen overnight and that learning is a long and tedious road.
9-You are not a quitter. You think, plan, take action and, most importantly, pursue that action till the end. You embrace failure as an opportunity to outperform yourself. Each step brings forth another step that you make graciously, always looking forward.
10-You have a voice and an identity. You would like to hear the world but also to put yourself into it, to share your knowledge and express your thoughts, to take action and make impact, to be an active member of the community, instead of remaining silent and lethargic.
11-You seek inspiration everywhere around you, within you and in others. It is important for you to enjoy what you are learning, to the point that you can even forget time.
12-You are a leader. You take initiatives, and are not afraid to stand out from the crowd. You are willing to take the risk of walking outside the beaten path and showing the way to new horizons.
Most importantly, an independent learner has a growth mindset and can develop himself and evolve in ways to change what can be changed, even in himself and in his attitude towards learning, to support his education.
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