Teaching to Student Strengths the Essay

Excerpt from Essay :



Instructors should fully explain the "purpose" behind the assignment, and should ask themselves before assigning it: a) am I offering "any autonomy over how and when to do this work?"; b) does doing this assignment promote mastery by being "an engaging task?" And c) is the purpose of this assignment clear to the students?

Teachers, students and others in the classroom community are inspired when there is a larger cause for everyone to focus on. For example, by teaching to students' strengths (their interest in wildlife), have the students write and illustrate reports on the loss of wildlife habitat in their county -- by going out into the natural world with a biologist who can point out the ways urban sprawl, pollution, and over-grazing has done damage to the ecosystems and hence taken away habitat for birds, coyotes, deer and rabbits. Students use the concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose -- in context with their assignments -- to complete projects that will be shared with the whole school and with local political officials.

A 7th grader in my Social Studies class seemed to sit and dream during class; he turned in poor work, he was late for class, when called on he never understood what was going on. I had him come in to class after school to "help me" grade papers for a couple days a week. In the process, he saw how important it was to me to have students do well. We became friendly and he explained that he was home alone every afternoon until bedtime because he parents both worked until late. He had no leadership, no role model, so I became one. His job after school every day was to come in and clean the boards, straighten out the library books, and help me grade papers. His work improved, his attention was much greater, and he began attempting some of the creative extra credit assignments I handed out. A much-improved student was the result.

Works Cited

Life Long Learners. (2003). Dan Pink Recommends a 'FedEx day' for Students and Teachers.

Retrieved June 12, 2012, from http://life-long-learners.com.

Pink, Dan. (2009). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Life Long Learners. (2003). Dan Pink Recommends a 'FedEx day' for Students and Teachers.

Retrieved June 12, 2012, from http://life-long-learners.com.

Pink, Dan. (2009). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York:

Riverhead Books.

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