Monday, March 5, 2007

about the necessity to understand scaffolding

Two of my children are possibly ill or possibly demotivated to go to school or both.

I have not been reading about underachievement for nothing.

Many teachers don't know that underachievement can be caused by too easy learning materials and lessons. They don't know about the mechanism nor do they know how much it affects children and their families. At the primary school I could see which teachers understand it just by looking at the grades of my children. You might argue that the grades only reflect the ability to teach and not how the teacher handles underachievement. True. In my opinion both are true. The successful teacher handles the underachievement better and gives better answers to difficult questions in the learning material. It is about scaffolding again.
citation of an article
"The first task during mediation is to discourage surface or superficial learning. Children are likely to engage in surface strategies as a matter of pragmatics; as a means of self preservation."
Now back to my reality. I hope it is the flue... but I'm pretty sure it is not. This is why we are thinking of moving to a region with better scaffolding, after five years of trying to manage.


john doyle said...

That's discouraging. Here is a study of American high schools showing that most kids are bored. The reason? Not enough classroom interaction with teachers and other students. Do you know where you would go for better schools?

Odile S said...

Yes: the schools in the region of Nijmegen are said to be very good.
They told me they would do scaffolding. There are special projects for underachievers.
The most important point of disagreement with the school where my child goes now is that I say she can comprehend very difficult texts and finds these easier to work with (on a daily basis) but cannot do the easy stuff. Whereas they even go so far to question her maximum score for language capacity, in a defensive mood, I'm sure.
The school in Nijmegen I asked for advice says it is one typical quality of gifted children that they can perform on very difficult tasks with ease, and on easy tasks fail.
The reason it is a big problem is twofold. (1)the primary school she attended was in transition from very bad school to good school (2) although she had good results she was held back in kindergarten due to the month in which she was born.

john doyle said...

It's difficult to know what to do for one's children. I've mentioned the harshness of French education compared to America. Will the international experience open up new vistas for our daughter, or stifle her creativity and eagerness to learn? Do your children need more challenging material or less? Fortunately most lifetimes are long ones with lots of ups and downs; rarely are setbacks permanent ones. That sounds more optimistic than my usual outlook, but I think it's true.

Odile S said...

Thanks for the support. I'm talking it over with friends and family and we went to the doctor. She likes the lessons, it might be just a temporary setback.

Odile S said...

An update: as a result of this all my children are now in different schools and are doing ranging much better to very well.
I'm now involved in education even more than before and I discuss with teachers and school directors. Education is now important in the minds of people around here. The school next door has improved and is now a good choice for normal children.
Small changes have good results.
It pays to talk, it pays to think.

Odile S said...

Another update: our daughter goes to Nijmegen and has had good results so far. The other children are at other schools. We didn't sell our house yet.

*new* item at Chez Odile is the metachat where Creatives and Thinkers meet.

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