Saturday, February 8, 2014

Defeat stops learning

For hours today, I tried.  I really, really tried.  I just don't think my brain works the way my professor wants students in our class to think.  I'm supposed to interpret and apply the organizational theory metaphor of brain to schools.  Apparently I am far too literal to make this work!  I enjoyed the articles I had to read, but I don't really get how they apply to this metaphor.  And worse than that, I've already taken a stab to two similar organizational theory metaphors and tried to apply them to schools...but I didn't do a very good job. 

In a perfect world, I'd be able to look back at the feedback I received on my previous two, similar papers and be able to create a new response that is closer to meeting my professor's expectations.  But this world is far from perfect.  And my frustration with post graduate school continues.  

I'm not sure I've ever felt so defeated in my learning career.  Now I see just how much defeat can interfere with learning.  Maybe it's beyond interfering.  I feel like I've hit a total road block with this class and this paper.  I've found so many other things to do today even though I set the time aside for this paper.  However, every time I try to write... I realize just how unsure I am about the topic, so I type and then delete sentences. 

Beyond my personal frustration, I wonder how many students in K-12 classrooms experience this type of defeat and how they cope with it?  Is this level of frustration a reason why some students detach from the learning experience, stop trying, and simply just don't care? 

Once we recognize the impact of defeat on the learning process I think it's really important to think about how we as educators can ensure that students don't experience this level of defeat and frustration.  My suggestions:
  • Teach clearly-- know the points you are making and make them explicit
  • Monitor students' understanding through the use of formative assessments, check-ins and tasks that require the student to restate/paraphrase the main ideas so misconceptions can be fixed early in the learning process
  • Understand that students learn in different ways and at different rates.  Be prepared to explain the concept in a variety of ways to meet that learner where he/she is.
  • Provide helpful, targeted, useful feedback early and consistently
  • Encourage!  Find something positive to use to motivate the learner.
I'm sure I'll get through this.  All things said and done, maybe I'll even appreciate this experience in the long run as it is making me be much more reflective about the learning process from the perspective of a learner.  I just wish someone would tell professors in secondary settings some of the lessons I'm learning. 

1 comment:

Charry Hen said...

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