Raising independent learners comes from more than how you teach. In fact, as Dennis Dinoia explains in his new book, TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners, it’s more about how you don’t teach than how you do.
I was compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions are my own.
Independent Responsible Learners
I have been a fan of Dennis Dinoia’s Mr. D Math classes for years. We’ve taken everything from American Sign Language classes to Training Like an Olympic Runner to an ACT Prep class and more. Each class has been educational and fun for my kids – something that not all online classes have been.
So, when I heard that Dennis had written a new book, I was anxious to read it. Like his classes, TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners did not disappoint.
The premise of the book is that, as educators both homeschooling and in the classroom, we have the ability to create independent responsible learners.
To do this, we need to allow our students to learn in a variety of ways and back off on tons of direct instruction. Instead, we must allow our students to learn and figure things out on their own a lot more than we do.
Dinoia explains that that does not mean that we don’t show students how to solve a problem (in the case of math), but that we show them, give them time to practice, and then help them understand what they did wrong by allowing them time to go back and look at lessons and detailed answer keys.
We must give them the opportunity to learn what they don’t know so that they can learn more.
Independent Learners in Homeschooling
As a homeschool mom, I very much believed in being a supporting role in my children’s education. I would coach, encourage, demonstrate, explain when needed, and cheer them on, but I wanted them to become independent responsible learners who knew how to figure things out.
I wanted them to develop the skills that they could transfer to any interest or career they wanted.
I wanted them to figure out how they learn best.
And they do.
Just as Dinoia says in TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners you don’t need statistics and experts to tell you what works when you can see the results yourself.
Applying TEACH in Teaching
There are very few books that I would recommend that can be used equally as effectively for homeschoolers and classroom teachers, but TEACH is one of them.
Dinoia comes from a public school teaching background and spends the beginning of the book explaining how he really honed in on the idea and practice of creating independent responsible learners in the classroom.
As a former classroom teacher, I loved how he explained the endless cycle of grading and making notes on students’ papers and how he switched it up. So instead of him spending all day Sunday grading, he created these curious, engaged learners who started performing better and were actively taking part in their education.
If you’re looking for a way to foster that sense of responsibility and curiosity in your students in the classroom or in your homeschool, TEACH can give you guidance on how to do it.
Read TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners
TEACH is a quick read but it’s packed full of great information and ideas. You can find it online as an eBook (which is on sale until June 15, 2022!) and as a paperback.
I actually found that I love the paperback more than the eBook (despite the price difference) because I highlighted passages and made notes on the sides of the pages.
You can order your copies here:
If you’re looking for a book that can transform your teaching and your students’ learning, TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners is a must-read!