Self-study beats the classroom

A report from Portland State University on adult learners who never graduated from high school, indicates that people who rely in whole or in part on self-study, do better than people who rely on classroom programs. This result was deemed “surprising”. This comes on the heels of a report from the US Department of Education that showed that e-learning delivered better results than classroom studying.

What’s surprising about this? I have known this for a long time. Only the motivated learner learns. The motivated learner is an independent learner. I have seen the same results by reading reports put out by the US Center for Applied Linguistics, on ESL learners in the US. What people do outside the class is more important than what happens in the class, when it comes to language and literacy learning.

But in my experience, the vast majority of the language teaching establishment wants to fight this obvious fact. They want to protect their classroom fortresses rather than using the classroom as a place to organize, stimulate, and support independent learning by a much larger number of learners than can ever make it to class. They are sacrificing the interests of learners, in order to try to maintain their control over what learners do. Governments continue to support this anti-education stance of most established teachers. It really is a waste of money and human potential.


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