Self-study vs. teaching - What's the impact level on the learner?

By Super

Self study vs. teaching - Impact on learner


No two people will learn something in the same manner. Each of us have our own form of learning. Some learn by reading, some by listening and some others by experiencing it. There is no fixed format. There are also no rules as to how a person should learn something. This gives a lot of choices to learn from.

There are two major forms of learning amongst the many other forms available. They are: self-study and learning from a teacher or classroom teaching. What impact does these different forms of learning have on the learner? Let us find out...

Self-study is learning by oneself. It involves extensive researching, accumulating data, storing and recalling when needed. Everything has to done by the learner.

A few advantages of this form of learning are:

  • Researching the information leads to accumulation of a large amount of data. It adds on to the amount of knowledge one can have on a topic.
  • Self-study also helps one to find out various ways to acquire the information and helps to develop resourcefulness in the learner.
  • Self-study is a sure sign of independence. Those who prefer this form of learning sure do exhibit the quality of self-reliance.
  • In this mode of learning, one is not required to wait for a scheduled time to gain knowledge of something.
  • Things can be learnt as and when the interest arises.
  • Learning is flexible. Time, place and subject, which the person wants to learn can be decided by the learner.
  • There is no limit to learning. The learner can go on investigating the subject to the core, there is no limit or rule at which the learner has to stop.

These are some of the advantages. However, this form of learning does have its own drawbacks.

A few disadvantages of this form of learning are:

  • In self study, everything has to be done by the learner. Selecting the relevant subjects, finding the sources, checking how correct the information gathered is, etc. All these things must be done by the learner alone. At times, this can get tedious.
  • Lack of experience becomes a major roadblock. Sometimes, when one is studying on their own, it so happens that a wrong information might be taken as the right one due to lack of experience. Since there is no one who is aware of the subject to guide the learner, this wrong data collection could be harmful to the process of learning.
  • There can be a moment when vital things can be missed out due to the fact that the learner is trying to do too many things at a time.

Now consider the other form of learning...

Learning from a teacher or classroom teaching:

In this form of learning, there is a learned person who will assist the learner in gaining knowledge. Accumulation of data, researching, etc. will be done by the teacher.

A few advantages of learning from a teacher or classroom learning:

* There is always someone to guide you when you don't know the subject.
* All the tedious work of researching, accumulation and sorting out of data is done by the teacher.
* When there is a doubt, it can always be cleared by the teacher. And nothing much is to be done by the learner's end.
* All that the learner has to do is just learn.
* Since a teacher will have an in-depth knowledge about the subject, most of the things taught will be accurate.
* A lot of time can be saved where one doesn't require to do the accumulation of the data. This time which is saved can be utilised for other productive tasks.
* Releasable and quick source of information is available here.

A few disadvantages of this form of learning are:

* This form of learning is "spoon-feeding". There aren't much inputs from the learner.
* The learner is dependent on another source for knowledge.
* The learning happens only when the teacher decides to share the knowledge, or when the class begins or when the teacher is prepared for the subject.
* The learner is restricted to learning only those things the teacher tells or shares. Any further information required will have to be done via self-learning.
* The knowledge received is limited to the teacher's knowledge about the subject.
* Learner cannot decide the pace, topic, style and subject for learning. He/she has to follow what the teacher decides.

Therefore, we see that each form of learning has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best form of learning, however, would be the one which would involve both forms of learning. For instance, if the teacher has taught something, the learner must not just stop the process of learning that subject once he/she is out of the class. Further exploration regarding the same must be done. This way the knowledge grows.

This is what we had to say. Please share your views here:

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