Part 2: Learning May Not Be Simple–The Student’s Perspective

In Part One of our “Learning May Not Be Simple” series, we discussed the complexities of presenting new information in an average classroom, as well as how a teacher’s management of the class can influence the learning process.  The following highlights the student’s perspective and the complications of understanding new information, particularly for high school students, who are subject to…

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The Complexities of Learning, Part 1

Learning at school can seem like a simple equation: teacher presents material + students listen (including taking notes) + students complete the homework assignments and tests = learning.  Yet, in practice, learning can be more complex.  The following is the first in an on-going series of posts that will discuss the intricacies of learning in contemporary classrooms.

Purposeful Failure

“I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Thomas Edison I am the anti-Thomas Edison.  I fear making mistakes.  I fear mistakes will expose me to others’ (mis-)judgements, like being seen as stupid.  I’ve evolved into a cautious reactor, preferring to watch others from the sidelines go first, make my own conclusions about when I…

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“Talk With Your Teacher”: Not Always a Simple Task

“Talk with your teacher” is usually advice that parents give to their high school aged student when an academic issue arises.  Teens can typically have the following reactions to their parents’ suggestion: they silently agree, then don’t actually talk with the teacher or they protest, with reasons about the teacher not liking them or being unavailable or they’d rather deal…

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The Wisdom of Our Parents

Do any of the following concerns sound familiar? “Is my student motivated enough?”  “I don’t want to be a nag.  How much do I remind my high school student to get her/his homework done?”  “When do teenagers normally start taking greater responsibility for their homework and academic achievement?”  I don’t want my daughter/son to lose out on any opportunities for…

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Academic Cheating: No Simple Explanations

Harvard recently required 60 students to withdraw for up to two years, after being found responsible for cheating on a take-home final essay exam last spring.  (The students will be eligible to re-enroll after the forced withdrawal period is over.)  Is it surprising that Harvard students cheat?  Or surprising that 125 students, about half the total government class were accused…

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The Inventors Dilemma

A fun excerpt: dedicated to all the curious and hands-on students who tend to create certain “stress” for their parents, and generally, the adult population around them. Did you know?  As a child, [Thomas] Edison’s home laboratory often produced explosions that shook the house and upset his father. The hard work it took to make a successful electric light inspired…

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