How to reach everyone?

I find myself asking this question every year as I grade exam papers that are supposed to be the summation of students learning for the year. Some students you expect to do well and that’s exactly what they do. Some you know just wont get there (despite your best efforts throughout the year) and indeed they dont.  Some end up underachieving and you’re gutted for them. Others exceed expectations and you’re thilled for them.

However, in many cases it’s the reasons why some students do well and others dont that are most interesting. A student who chooses to spend their study hours working in McDonnells (or wherever) to earn enough money to pay for the course they then dont have enough time to devote to is just heart-breaking, but you understand where they are coming from.  Students who do badly because they cant or dont want to study are even more heart-breaking. These are the ones you need to reach the most, and you need to reach them before it’s too late. After the exam is too late.

I’m a big fan of awareness. Just how aware are our students of what they are learning and how they are learning it.  The traditional model of education looks at the product only and not so much at the process. How does an 18-year-old know what is and is not important for the professional world they are graduating into, a world they are sheltered from in their college environment? How much learning happens outside of the classroom that is invisible to the teacher? How much of this are students not given credit for?  Like how exactly do students organise themselves for project group work? How do we know that person X in the group didnt do all the work and person Y didnt do much at all? How do we know if person X was the inspiration behind person Ys contribution that caused a grade jump? There are a lot of how questions.

Answers on a virtual postcard please while I go back to marking….

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Posted on June 2, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hello Charmed,
    Interesting posting! Its always satisfying when kids do well. Better to exercise the brain to the max when young and by so doing hopefully prevent it atropying – at the apparent rate mine is doing – once they hit 60!

  2. pennybridged

    Thanks for the comment:-)
    Keeping the brain cells in keep is a job in itself, whatever the age.

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