In our opinion, there are many more pros than cons for the Autonomous Learner Model.

Students will be able to . . .

*Develop more positive self-concept & self-esteem.

  • *Comprehend their own abilities in relationship to self & society.
  • *Develop skills to interact effectively with peers, siblings, parents and other adults.
  • *Increase knowledge in a variety of areas.
  • *Develop critical and creative thinking skills.
  • *Develop decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • *Integrate activities that facilitate the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development of the individual.
    • *Develop individual passion for learning.
      *Demonstrate responsibility for their own learning, in and out of the school.
*Ultimately become responsible, creative, independent, life-long learners.
This video explains why autonomous learning is so vital to today's students!

Despite this lengthy list of advantages to the ALM, there are some disadvantages.

The ALM . . .
  • can cause isolation between students because they might avoid interacting with each other since they are completing different in-depth studies.
  • can be overwhelming to first time participants if students do not stay committed to the procedures outlined in their Advanced Learning Plans.
  • requires a great deal of time to implement, especially as students perform their research on their in-depth study and produce a culminating product/performance
  • is difficult to assess according to traditional methods of growth because the students study varying types of content. Thus, the impact of the model's effectiveness is difficult to determine without a series of longitudinal and retrospective studies (Betts & Kercher, 2009).
  • would be extremely challenging to implement in non-gifted classrooms since students in general education might not have had experience with the Seminar and In-depth Study dimensions of the ALM (Betts & Kercher, 2009).