” (2002) This is still possible for children who gain their education through independent study programs in that they are still able to participate in extra-curricular activities and are not so exhausted while doing so when they are being educated through independent study programs instead of being forced to endure very long school days that drains them and bars them from physically being able to participate in extracurricular activities with other children.
It is not only children who have learning disabilities who benefit from Independent Study Programs as evidenced in the work of Simpson (2007) entitled: “Educational Options for Gifted Learners” who relates that inclusive in the wide range of options for the gifted student is Independent Learning through a differentiated curriculum. The independent learning program for gifted students serves to foster independence and nurture self-regulation, self-reliance, resourcefulness while allowing students to formulate their own learning and as well serves to empower students in their choice of learning style. Independent learning requires students to set and achieve goals and promotes the abilities and interests of the student. Independent learning allows the gifted students to broaden and expand the curriculum and increases student motivation and enthusiasm as well as increasing the students sense of responsibility and a sense of life-long-learning. There are stated to be negative affects associated with independent learning programs including the reduction of social skill development opportunities and lack of self-discipline for the student in monitoring their own progress and as well, the student may feel too lonely or isolated. (Simpson, 2007; paraphrased)
SUMMARY of LITERATURE REVIEWED
This study has established that the purpose of the independent study program is the provision of additional, meaningful, individual educational experiences which result in the optimal involvement of students in planning and evaluation of their achievement. Independent study programs may vary in the length of time from several weeks to a year in duration. This study has been informed that the independent study program is developed either in lieu of regular courses or in addition to regular courses and will be a credit-bearing course.
Screening of the student is inclusive in project development of independent study programs. Independent study programs are not only for students who are learning disabled but also are also effective in educational provision to students who are gifted learners. In other words the Independent Study Program is specifically suitable for any student, who is for any reason, limited in their capacity for educational achievement by the traditional classroom learning environment whether the pace of the classroom learning environment moves too fast or alternately whether the pace of learning is simply too slow to accommodate the learning needs and abilities of the student. From the literature reviewed in this study it is apparent that Independent Study Programs are gaining momentum throughout the United States as an alternative method of making a positive opportunity for educational achievement for students who do not fit well in the traditional classroom learning environment.
Lennstrom, Henry Walter (1973) an Analysis of Independent Study Programs in the Junior Community Colleges. ERIC ED087516 Digest. Online available at http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED087516&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED087516
Kassof, Annie (2004) Independent Study Program Offers Model for State. Berkeley Daily Planet. 17 Dec 2004. Online available at http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/article1.cfm?archiveDate=12-17-04&storyID=20315
Rafoth, Mary Ann (2007) Independent Study – Purposes and Goals of Independent Study, Independent Study and Extensiveness in Grades K-12. Education Encyclopedia – State University. Online available at http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2080/Independent-Study.html
Stroman, Bonne (2006) Independent Study – Texas Performance Standards Project. Online available at http://www.texaspsp.org/exit/deliveryISM.php?p=2
Medveacek, Chris (2002) Learning at Home – Before Deciding on a Homeschooled or Homebound Program for your Child, Educate Yourself. MDA Quest Publications Vol. 9, No.1 Feb 2002. Online available at http://www.mdausa.org/publications/Quest/q91learning.html
Simpson, Jean Porteous (2007) Educational Options for Gifted Learners. July 2007. GCA. Online available at http://www.gcabc.ca/memfiles/10145682
Independent Study Programs.