Skip to main content

Struggle for Smarts?

I have had this article saved on my computer for quite sometime. This NPR report spoke about a study on the difference between "embracing struggle" as part of the learning process between eastern and western cultures.

"In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it's just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle."

I wavered on whether or not to share it with my students as I don't want to give them the impression that they don't work hard. My students work very hard... though they sometimes give up on solving a problem if they path to solving it isn't immediately clear.

One thing I did change the day I heard this report: I let students work more often in groups to figure out a new concept instead of me modelings first.

My lesson went more like this:
1. Struggle
2. Model - or have a student model
3. Practice

It was a change that will be part of my teaching from here out.