Why Holiday Learning Programs are Critical to Success?
Aarg!!…it’s the year end 6 week holiday and do we really need to have a holiday class? Its kiasuism by my parents…
Well, studies have demonstrated that during long holidays, students actually lose knowledge and skills. On the average, students perform one month behind where they left off before the break.
Holiday Learning Loss is Cumulative over Time
What is more disturbing is this learning loss is cumulative over time. Students who keep up with coaching and those without contributes substantially to the achievement gap.
Many students lose learning over the long break and some students need more time on task to master content. Participation in holiday learning programs can mitigate learning loss and potentially produce achievement gains.
Why a Mindset Change is Necessary for Success
Learning is a process. Success comes from effort and not from natural endowments from nature. Failure is an important opportunity for growth.
Your mindset or thinking influences whether you will be optimistic or pessimistic, what your goals are, how much effort you are willing to put out to reach those goals, and how successful you shall be in University and in your careers.
Mindset is the cognitive view that we, as individuals, develop for ourselves. Professor Carol Dweck demonstrated that we are likely have one of two mindsets: (1) a fixed mindset, where we believe that our qualities are set in concrete and cannot be changed; or (2) a growth mindset, where we believe our qualities can change and improve through focus and practice.
Professor Dweck investigated the effect of mindsets with a group of students reading chemistry.
Effects of a Change in Thinking on Results
Students with a growth mindset got higher grades than those with a fixed mindset. Even when they did not do well on tests or examinations, the growth mindset students bounced back on the next test.
Fixed mindset students typically read and re-read the text and class notes or try to memorize everything verbatim. Students with fixed mindset who did poorly on tests concluded that they probably do not have the aptitude to study chemistry.
Why the difference?
Students with a growth mindset took charge of their motivation and learning. These group of students searched for themes and principles chemistry and kept going over mistakes until they understood why they made them.
Prof. Dweck’s analysis was “They were studying to learn, not just ace the test. And actually, this is whythey got higher grades – not because they were smarter or had a better background in science.”
Our intelligence and thinking skills are not fixed, but can change: Even if you are very bright, with effort you can increase your intelligence.
Learning is a process of mental development.
Students need to focus on the process of solving problems based on first principles rather than to focus on one single answer. Students need to spend time and effort to solve practise problems to demonstrate to themselves that they can apply what they have learnt. There is no shame if they do not succeed at first attempt and will need giudance to master new skills.
Students must be encouraged to seek assistance from teachers and their peers in the learning process. Students are aware, that some will learn faster at some skills, while some, will take a longer time to master or learn the new skills. Eventually through correct guidance, sustained effort and time spent in practise, all can succeed.
When students are active and engaged in their learning, they remember for a longer period of time. The end result of our coaching and mentoring shall be to develop independent & motivated learners who are responsible for their learning. This is reflected in their results and approach to learning.
About Science Ventures learning Hub
Dr David Foo has a doctoral degree in Chemistry. He is actively involved in science and chemical education. Science Ventures Learning Hub was established to provide an interaction-based learning environment to teach students to how scientific concepts are derived, developed and how it can be applied.
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