Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thoughts on Academic Rigor

1. You have to actually work to learn something most of the time.

2. Learning is not always easy.

3. Sometimes a LOT of effort goes into learning.

4. There is not always a shortcut to hard work.

5. Learning cannot always be accelerated. Sometimes the road is long and things must be done step by step over months and years.

6. Having a goal is not the same as doing the work it takes to meet that goal.

7. Having a plan is not good enough, you have to actually execute the plan.

8. Sometimes a learner struggles even if they desire the end result.

9. No outside person can do the learning for the learner. You can't put academic achievement onto someone else no matter how much you wish you could.

10. The learner must accept responsibility for their learning. You can't force a person to do the hard work, learning is an internal process that the person has to be at least partially committed to.

11. Learning is not always fun. No matter what someone tells you about something will be fun if you do it this way or that way, it's not always fun for the learner in real life.

12. Sometimes a person learns something by accident or without much effort but I don't know anyone who is like that all the time for everything in life. Every person has strengths and weaknesses.

13. A person for whom learning comes easily  may not reach their goal if they don't try.

14. A person who lacks natural ability but has a strong desire may accomplish more than others due to sheer perseverance and tenacity.

15. It is much easier to give up than to keep trying which is probably why so many wind up being mediocre.

16. Students need access to rigorous academics but the access alone won't guarantee that the learner will actually learn. They have to want the rigor and they must buy in to the process and put in the time and effort. I am willing to be that more American kids have access to rigorous academics than actually take advantage of what they do have.

17. It is easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility for one's own lack of effort. Some blame the school not being good enough, blame the teacher for not being a 'good teacher'. Some accuse that the academics are too hard and the standards are too high.

18. The Bell Curve doesn't align with what Americans today think it should, they want something that barely has a valley floor then an 89 degree angle shooting straight up with 99% of the students at the top of the peak.

17. People are different and have varying levels of internal motivation.


KC said...

Excellent list! I'm going to print it out and post it on my wall for my 11yo to read (hopefully daily!). She's always had things come relatively easily and just this year as we've moved into middle school work, she's been bulking at the time and effort required to actually master something. I know it has something to do with the age, but I want her to catch some of the spirit of persistence now instead of when she hits high school or college. Thanks!

Aya Katz said...

I agree with pretty much all of what say here. I would also add that the same amount of effort can seem more like work for one person and more like pleasure to another. So the key to any individual's success in learning is the degree to which the effort required to achieve the goal is experienced as pleasurable.

Cynthia and the farm house said...

I think you hit the nail on the head.

I will stop by again soon!

Cynthia and the farm house said...

I think you hit the nail on the head.

I will stop by again soon.