In the field-dependent/independent model of cognitive or learning style, a field-independent learning style is defined by a tendency to separate details from the surrounding context. It can be compared to a field-dependent learning style, which is defined by a relative inability to distinguish detail from other information around it. Theorists define these two cognitive styles in terms of how they are psychologically different - which makes this a useful model for teachers trying to understand their learners.

Field-independent learners tend to rely less on the teacher or other learners for support.

In the classroom
Activities such as extensive reading and writing, which learners can carry out alone, are useful for field-independent learners.

Further links:

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.