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Subject:

Re: Should students be allowed to fail? Gladwell does have a point.

From:

Susan Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 27 Jul 2009 10:14:39 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (243 lines)

Often, the thing that needs to be remediated is that victim mindset which has been entrenched to varying degrees from lifelong experience.  This would describe the student completing an assignment about learning styles because that's what s/he's been told to do, but not engaging in the process enough to be able to apply it.  
 
"The appeal process in and of itself is structured to help the student develop a different approach to college study" -- that is a statement also true to varying degrees.  If a student examines success/failure through the 'external locus of control' context, then the appeal is a ritual that you hope will get you the piece of paper you need... and you still haven't internalized the whole concept of *knowing* stuff and owning your knowledge.

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success 
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
217-353-2056
[log in to unmask] 
Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net 
http://bicyclecu.blogspot.com 


>>> Sara Weertz <[log in to unmask]> 7/23/2009 4:52 PM >>>
I agree but I highly doubt there are many institutions that continually take students' money and then let them flounder. Most schools do have a stop-gap measure which highlights the students receiving Fs. After two semesters, most bar the "F" student from registration until the student has appealed. The appeal process in and of itself is structured to help the student develop a different approach to college study.

Struggling students are notorious for playing the victim and blaming their professors for their lack of learning when in actuality the student lacks a transferrable study skills repertoire. It takes a fairly sophisticated student to understand that he is responsible for his own learning, that he must learn to compensate for the difference between the professor's instructional style and his own learning style. (Therein lies the reason why he doesn't understand the instructor's lectures).  I'm not advocating that struggling students spend a lot of time on the different learning styles, trying to figure out which style or combination of styles works best for them, BUT having the ability to create visuals, for example, that work alongside one's lecture notes and textbook reading can be a tremendous help in the learning process.  And yet, if the failing student never learned this counterbalance technique (never needed to know), if no one ever showed him there are different learni!
 
 ng styles which will help in understanding different approaches, how can we expect him to succeed?

This is where learning specialists, SI, and tutoring play an important role in the learning process. We like to get new students using our services AFTER they have failed their first exam. These students come to us complaining they've done everything they're supposed to do and yet they still failed the test. Most of these students (usually freshman) are hanging on to the myth that all they need to do is go to class and read the text or worse: if they go to class, they don't need to read the text (or vice versa). After a brief study skills survey, it is clear to us these students, while sincere in their efforts to do well in school, have very little study skills know-how and spend little time if any studying. It's a slow and maybe even arduous process to help these students develop a core set of study skills strategies AND help them to understand how they study for one course isn't necessarily the same way they should study for another.

The development of effective study skills involves trial and error, which can be frustrating and possibly detrimental because it can also include failure. All too often struggling students feel that if college doesn't come easy, then they must not be cut-out for it. So they give up and drop out. The point of Gladwell's keynote speech is that students need to be reminded again and again that hard work begets success. When it comes to college, there's no such thing as easy street.

sal



Sara Weertz
Director, Supplemental Instruction
Angelo State University
Member, Texas Tech University System
ASU Station #10915
San Angelo, TX  76909
(325) 942-2710  X-387
[log in to unmask] 



-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of McNaught, Susan
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 7:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Should students be allowed to fail?

Students do need to know that they need to work hard in order to
succeed. However, the institution needs to take responsibility to
structure things so that students are not being set up. If resources are
not available, if information is not clear, if classes and tutoring are
not available, then it is not the students who fail but the institution.
There is no integrity in taking a student's tuition and then saying,
"Work harder. We are done."

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Susan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 1:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Should students be allowed to fail?




<<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-wojcicki/tipping-point-for-educat 
i_b_222071.html>>
The magic chevrons usually hold a link together in an email.

Sounds like Gladwell has read Dweck's materials --  people who have a
"growth mindset" tend to be receptive to using failure as something to
grow from, while people with a "fixed mindset" think abilities are an
entity that is either there, or not, thank you.  Especially with math,
that fixed mindset does a lot of harm.  In my experience, teacher with
the "when they work hard, they pass" experience do it in one of two
ways:  the grading system means that if the student repeats things
enough, they can get a passing grade whether or not they undersatnd what
they're doing or, that mindset shifts.

http://www.learning-theories.com/self-theories-dweck.html 

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
217-353-2056
[log in to unmask] 
Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net 
http://bicyclecu.blogspot.com 


>>> Kate Jakobson <[log in to unmask]> 7/21/2009 11:48 AM >>>
It's just a blog posting on Huffington Post concerning a keynote speech
by
Malcolm Gladwell to teachers of the National Education Computing
Conference
in Washington, D.C.  The title is a bit misleading - Gladwell
essentially
says that we all learn from mistakes and that those who experience
failure
but don't give up are better able to build on those failures through
hard
work.  "Gladwell stressed that one of the things we need to change in
the
schools is the attitude that success comes easily. Students need to know
that to succeed they need to work hard."

Here's the link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-wojcicki/tipping-point-for-educati_ 
b_22
2071.html

Kate

Kate Jakobson, Director
Tutoring & Student Success
Kirtland Community College
Roscommon, MI  48653
989.275.5000 x 211

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Collin Pugh
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Shouols students be allowed to fail?

Hi Ted,
I do not know if other people have had trouble accessing the article
from your blog, but I have been unsuccessful. When I click on the link,
the web indicates that the page cannot be found. Is there any way for
you to send the article to me in the form of an attachment? Thanks.
Sincerely,
Collin Pugh
Coordinator of the Tutorial and Academic Skills Center (TASC)
Saint Mary's College of California
[log in to unmask] 


Panitz, Theodore wrote:
> Hi All,
>
>      I came across an article titled "Educators Urged to Allow Their
Students to Fail, June 28, 2009" which I thought would make for some
interesting summer reading and perhaps discussion. Especially in light
of
the recent emphasis on student retention and success. The article sums
up
the true nature of success in college, in a more articulate fashion than
I
ever could provide and in a very simple and direct thesis which also
applies
to how people succeed in life.
>
>      I was attracted to this article because my experiences bear the
speaker out. I have never had a student fail any of my classes in my
entire
career when they have made a good effort! Some students need to make a
very
strong effort and a few a herculean effort to pass algebra, but when
they
have made the effort they succeeded. This might include extra help from
me
or the tutoring available, working with a special support group, getting
advising from faculty and staff, to name a few areas of support for
students. But the bottom line still remains that success depends upon
the
student effort.
>
>    My questions:
> 1. How do we convince our students that this is the case?
> 2. Can we really motivate them to make the effort if they are not self
motivated?
>
>
>   Please go to my blog to read the whole article and respond if you
are so
moved.
>
> http://tpanitz.jimdo.com/ 
>
> Regards,
> Ted
>
>
>
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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