How do you foster independence in projects? The steps to an independent project
Plenty of TIME
In this day and age of infinite information, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get it all done. To put it bluntly, it is because there isn’t.
The theory of the Knowledge Doubling Curve says that we used to see a doubling in knowledge every century, then following WWII it was every 25 years, the current rate is around every 12 months, and the projected rate is every 12 hours*. That means that we need to spend some time helping kids create background knowledge for their projects.
I am going to show my age, but kids today have it so much easier than when I was younger. The internet is an explosion of resources to help inspire.
The disclaimer being that for young minds, it can also be stifling. Strike a balance between inspiration and feeling like there is not room left for creativity. Allow the kids to put their own stamp on things.
Help them Brainstorm
Brainstorming needs to be taught. Guide the kids through the process so that they can get the hang of it. I will admit this it not an area of strength that I have. I tend to express judgement, which then strangles creativity.
Provide training on tools
Assist with work that is beyond the scope of their age, but work at their discretion. Kids (like most people) love to be the boss. If we don’t follow their lead they won’t understand that being the boss isn’t just about power, but also responsibility
Let them work.
Check in. You can even prod. If they don’t get it done, let them fail. Failure isn’t bad in and of itself.
Grab the foster independence checklist