Thursday, March 26, 2009

About Student Attitudes on Learning

The importance of having a good learning attitude able to change our thinking and increase our effectiveness. Herewith a good article/some instructions we would like to share with parents and students.


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How do educators determine student attitudes on learning? The answer is simple: they ask them. Author Penny Oldfather, in a study of fifth and sixth grade students, documented their comments, attitudes and motivations toward learning (see Resources below). She found that when children lack motivation, they fail to grasp the material. The response is often anger, rebellion and even physical symptoms such as anxiousness and illness. Students at this age level seem to desire a positive attitude and the motivation to learn.

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Once educators uncover student attitudes on learning, the challenge is using this information to shape a positive attitude. Adult students can see the future results of their learning, such as a better job and more money. Elementary students, however, are too young to see the big picture. To them, the need for drive and reward is instant. At the least, students must want to learn, be receptive and participate in the learning process to ultimately experience satisfaction from learning. A positive learning attitude requires motivation and gratification; the timing of those variables depends on the age of the student.

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Student attitudes on learning, good or bad, affect their outlook toward learning throughout life. The London firm Continental Research discovered this information while polling prospective adult students in the UK. The individuals who responded with enthusiasm towards continuing their education were primarily skilled employees. Those responding negatively to continued education had experienced only basic (required) education and did not desire further education. Their attitude towards learning affected not only their amount of education but their desire for education.

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Two teaching methods, Direct Teaching and Cooperative Learning, offer examples of how students are either motivated or discouraged by the teaching method.Direct Teaching is used to instill facts and master basic skills. The instructor outlines what will be taught, teaches the material and reiterates what is learned. This form of teaching, however, can discourage creativity and participation as part of the learning process.In contrast, the Cooperative Learning method involves teams of students working together to complete projects. However, while conducive to the over-achieving and take-charge student, it can intimidate the shy, introverted student.

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Attitude is a learned behavior and, as such, is highly susceptible to change. The Behavioral Theory requires "positive reinforcement" or reward for good behavior. This theory is consistent with the attitudes toward learning, especially at an elementary level. Krathwohl's Taxonomy theory states that a learning attitude is developed over time, and that past learning experiences affect future learning experiences. This is evident in adult students considering returning to school to further their education.
About Student Attitudes on Learning Provided by


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