Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teaching Perseverance


There are many examples in our lives in which overcoming failure is a key element to success:

Riding a bike

Potty Training

Hitting a baseball

Tying your shoes


So why do our schools seem to increasingly be designed to minimize opportunities to learn perseverance. Too often we cover a topic and test the kids and they either get it or they don't. Units must take a certain number of days and if you don't learn within that time frame, you fail. Were you given a timeframe in which to learn to ride a bike? Tie your shoes? What if you were given an F because it took you longer to learn than your parents thought it should. Sorry. You just weren't cut out to go potty! I guess you will never tie your shoes!

The determination that this little kid shows is way more important than the skill of riding a bike. If we can develop that in all of our students, they will be far more successful in life than if we slap a grade on them that they are either good or bad at something. The reality is most of us start off not very good at most things. It is our perseverance that keeps us going back and working harder until we get it right.



Video thanks to bonedustcloudat

1 comment:

  1. This entry made a connection with a Wiggins article called "Feedback: How Learning Occurs".

    He makes profound comments about feedback (e.g., "provide specific and useful information that students need in order to master worthy performances.").

    He goes on to say that the most profound feedback comes from the activity itself. By paying attention to what is happening, the learner receives valuable information that adjustments need to be made, and at a higher level, specific self-adjustments to be made.