Choosing to learn
What are some of the elements that enable excellent learning? Research tells us that while students account for a good half of their own achievement, it is teachers who are the next most significant variable. If half of the students' achievement depends of the students themselves, what are the key conditions required by students if they are to learn at a high level? Every day, everyone is surrounded by stimuli that their senses take in yet everyone experiences the environment differently by making choices about how they will respond to the incredible range of inputs to which they are exposed. It is the same for students when they are confronted with some learning required by the school curriculum. Their minds are also taking in a huge range of inputs. It does not matter whether the teacher actually gives students choices or not - they will make choices and the teacher will not necessarily be able to influence those choices. Learning is all about making choices. The greatest skill a student can be taught is how to use this ability effectively. [Author abstract, ed]
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