Thursday, November 15, 2012

Challenges for Students

For a long time students have been complaining that work is too hard. When they don’t finish their homework or in-class assignment their explanation is that they didn’t understand it or it was just too hard. Is it too hard? Should textbooks be “dumbed-down.” If the work gets easier, is that really helpful to students in the long run?

Student need to be challenged. They need to face problems that don’t have simple solutions and they need to work through those struggles. I would even argue that students need to fail and learn from that failure. The student who is constantly successful in school (or science class, more specifically) is ill-prepared for the world they will face one they leave elementary, middle or high school. The classroom is a perfect place for students to learn to deal with the difficult problems. The student who has faced failure, learned from it and then gone on to success is much more likely to succeed in life.

We are seeing less and less students in America going on to majors like science, math, and engineering. The reason is simple: those subjects are hard. Students must struggle with problems that don’t have easy answers or prescribed solutions. They must think about how to solve the problem, and their solution will not always be correct. And that’s OK! But in our classrooms we are teaching them that it is not OK. We are teaching students that failure is the end of the road. In actuality, failure is a step on the path to success. Think of how many times you have taught a lesson that didn’t get you the results you were looking for. What if you were graded on that failure and never had a chance to adapt and learn from it? Each of us faces failure in our lives, we must prepare out students to accept that failure is not the end, but something to learn from and move on to success.


eCYBERMISSION keeps students challenged!
eCYBERMISSION gives students the chance to do this by choosing their own problem to solve and working to come up with a solution to that problem through science and engineering. There is no “right” answer to the problems they are investigating. Instead of just learning a science concept from their investigation as many prescribed laboratory activities are designed for these days, students are seeing the creativity and struggle that is necessary for scientists and engineers to succeed.

Give your students more than just science knowledge, give them the skills to live a successful life by teaching them how to deal with failure and learn from their mistakes.

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