Learning becomes fun when you know the fundamentals... but it still infers there has to be some mental activity which, let’s be honest, is hard! True learning requires perseverance and extended learning is the perfect environment for students to develop this life skill, setting themselves up for the future.
Many students are taught that learning should be fun and they begin to confuse education with entertainment. This might seem great in the short term as it gets the immediate work done. However, if this behaviour is encouraged over and over again, it becomes a habit where students believe and expect that learning should bring them instant gratification which simply is not true! Real learning and understanding takes time, grit and failure. It takes perseverance.
In a culture that views education as entertainment, students that aren’t getting the fun they are looking for in their learning quickly lose motivation to follow through with their work. Their vision only goes as far as the next fun thing.
"Real learning and understanding takes time, grit and failure. It takes perseverance."
The trouble with this is that NCEA is not fun, and if a student develops a work ethic based on fun, exams at high school become a nightmare. We need to build a work ethic based on perseverance and determination, which are emotional anchors that hold the student through the challenges of learning.
There’s an article in The Guardian that discusses the importance making students more resilient in learning (and life) by increasing their competency awareness through problem solving. Naturally, learning is a form of problem solving, and by providing students with the mental resilience for dealing with challenges, they will begin to develop the confidence to persevere.
Our extended learning programs encourage students to develop these skills by showing them how to break down challenges, problems and assignments into smaller, more understandable parts that can be solved. Students who become aware of their own competence at working through their learning challenges are more likely to persevere with their studies than give up or lose motivation.
Extended learning is the perfect opportunity to develop perseverance in students. Obviously, we want our students to enjoy their learning, but we also want to help them build the resilience and perseverance required to do the hard work required to reach their goals. It is important to us that our students learn how to persevere through setbacks and take on challenges to reach their learning goals.
Do you agree? We’d love to hear your thoughts on building perseverance through extended learning.