5 Reasons to Stop Spoon-Feeding Students

By: Admin 27 April, 2017

One important thing that differentiates us as human beings, and enables us as the most advanced species, is our profound ability to learn. And as educators we cannot make students learn, but only moderate their learning process: either encouraging them to learn or discouraging them away from learning.

So why do some adults hate learning? Why do some adults neglect learning? Why do some adults say learning is just not for me? This is normal, but this is not natural!

Here are 5 rules one should know about learning:

Rule 1: By itself, Knowledge is nothing

Most ‘knowledge’ we gain in schools and colleges is forgotten after the examinations. If we have to forget, then why learn in the first place?

Most teachers see students’ brains as empty vessels they have to pour information into. But this information actually comes in and goes out in time, never stays. Facts are useless for living unless you develop a skill to use them.


Rule 2: The most important thing, learning how to learn

The sooner a student can learn without a teacher holding their hand the better. Once a student learns to learn for themselves, and develop a confidence in their own learning, they can enjoy the learning process. Those students who rely on ‘spoon-feeding’ will most likely not be able to become independent lifelong learners, because they have never learnt how to learn.


Rule 3: Give them guidance, leave them alone

The correct perspective is to see the teacher, rather, as a learning counselor – who guides and directs students to learn for themselves. They will learn better when they have to find their own path, with just a bit of guidance. You will be surprised at how their thinking skills will improve.


Rule 4: The 3 domains of learning to learn

Students can develop learning confidence, and learning competence, in 3 different domains. The three different domains in which learning can take place are:

  1. Cognitive: mental skills (knowledge)

  2. Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (attitude or self)

  3. Psychomotor: manual or physical (skills)


Students may develop confidence in one of these domains, and leave behind the other two. It is thus necessary to be reflective and identify their areas of improvement. As students mature, the teachers again can work towards being a counselor, where they encourage the student to take responsibility for their own learning. Teachers can only encourage or discourage the development the students ability to learn how to learn in each of these three domains.


Rule 5: Learn how to learn from Adults, the expert independent learners

Children may be extremely capable in learning, but expertise in being an independent learner must be learned. We may look at children and be amazed by what they can learn information like sponges. Here the teacher, is the central focus. The teacher or parent must therefore show a young child what to do and how to do it. The need for this form of learning is crucial in the early years of childhood development. But as children get older and work towards adulthood there is a need for learning to move away from this method.




Be innovative and develop the student’s ability to work independently alone or in group settings, as independent learners. Thus, rather than spending time on spoon-feeding and hand-holding, over time, you are teaching students how they can learn for themselves, where you help students discover the incredible learning ability we all have as human beings.



This article has excerpts from Edutopia. Read the original here.