Learned helplessness in the classroom – What teachers can do

I’m about 20 minutes into a class with 28 science students. We’re investigating electric circuits and how current, voltage and resistance influence each other and I’ve done a bit of theory in the class already, explaining the what happens with an animation and an analogy and a little bit of drilling (the voltage pushes the current, the current […]

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Parental Characteristics that Facilitate Student Academic Success

We know teachers play a huge role in a child’s academic success, but parental influence is arguable greater. Here are a few parental characteristics, from the educational literature, that have significant impact on a student’s success. Emotional Support provided by the parents 1. The quality of care-giving being provided by parents together. This includes how […]

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Thoughts on the Leaving Certificate Exams

“Teaching for the exams” has long been considered a dirty phrase in teaching. I believe it’s time to re-assess this, in a balanced way. Before my words are misrepresented, I believe in the importance of teaching subject content, skills, attitudes and behaviours that facilitate student learning and growth. In my subject, learning appropriate skills, attitudes and […]

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Identity – A means to bypass the need for motivation

Being a teacher you sometimes question your effectiveness, the direction of the curriculum, summative assessments, a whole host of things. In fact there are always job-related difficulties and doubts, that are shared by others in the profession. So I wondered, why do we do it? Why do we dedicate ourselves to helping students develop academically, […]

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Learning, Developing and Improving Skills

Here’s my attempt to provide a straightforward method to learn, develop and improve any skill, and it’s as simple as; Focus, Feedback, Fix, and Repeat. Focus Narrow down the aspect of skill that you need to improve. Focus on one part of this skill only, whether it’s your foot placement while kicking a conversion/penalty in rugby/soccer?, […]

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New thoughts on my learning mindset

I’ve been mulling over the idea of the growth mindset these past few days and its implication to my learning, so I thought I’d share some new understandings. For those unfamiliar with the growth mindset idea, it is a personal view that intelligence is not fixed. Instead it can be developed over time by being exposed […]

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Who owns your knowledge?

There exists a complex interplay between the information you assimilate and your previously acquired knowledge. So much so that the incoming knowledge is affected by prior experiences and existing information, while your existing thoughts and frameworks are affected by this new knowledge. This isn’t really a new idea. However, what if your learning focus is […]

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Rewards and the Hook

Manufacture a habit to push through your motivation dip and encourage consistent learning and practice using the Hook. The Hook model is simple. It consists of four inter-related phases that need to be repeated to become solid; trigger, action, reward and investment. Remember, repetition is key to its successes. Rewarding your success There are many […]

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Action and the Hook

Manufacture a habit to push through your motivation dip and encourage consistent learning and practice using the Hook. The Hook model is simple. It consists of four inter-related phases that need to be repeated to become solid; trigger, action, reward and investment. Remember, repetition is key to its successes. All about actions Action is carried […]

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More on Triggers and the Hook

Manufacture a habit to push through your motivation dip and encourage consistent learning and practice using the Hook. The Hook model is simple. It consists of four inter-related phases that need to be repeated to become solid; trigger, action, reward and investment. Remember, repetition is key to its successes. Internal and external triggers Triggers cue […]

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