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>Situation:
>I've constructed the Study Skills course syllabus so that students are
>responsible for their own learning as much as possible.  They must
>collaborate, they must write & present, they must apply.  They must
>actively participate in their own learning.  I will demonstrate &
>guide, facilitate & encourage.
>  [Yes, *I* have constructed the syllabus; do 18-year-olds know what
>  strategies they will need to succeed in college AND on the job?
>  They may have a vague idea that they need to read better, so isn't
>  it then my responsibility to collect specific information from more
>  experienced students and graduates?]
>
>Problem:
>In spite of my efforts, the students are passive.  They refuse to
>engage or participate.  Their expectations--"tell me what will be
>on the test"--do not change.  They will not be motivated.  In fact,
>they are angry.  What do YOU do to move or guide them past the
>passive-receptacle stage as learners?
>
 
Lori and others
 
This is a good question!  I am planning on teaching Study Skills for the
first time in fall '95, and would love to hear the responses about energizing
nonresponsive students, as well.  It seems not to be insurmountable, but
must somehow be an internally motivated experience for the student.  In other
words, the student must find something for him/herself that is interesting
and engaging, and sometimes this works in my current developmental reading
classes, but, as you say about "tell me what is going to be on the test",
there seems to be little or no interest in learning for learning's sake.
Also a difficulty in seeing transferability.  We must show them as best we
can the practical application of whatever is presented in theory as often
as possible.  This often requires above and beyond the "call of duty" in
terms of preparation.  This extended prep time becomes a burden when one
teaches 15 semester hours per semester, as I do, plus is required to super-
vise a learning lab during office hours, go to many committee meetings,
help write grants, etc., etc.
 
Any thoughts?  Maybe it is just the end of the semester.  Wish I could
afford a whole summer off.  Have to teach first summer semester just to
make ends meet.
 
Lisa Armstrong
Lisa Armstrong
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