The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
20. Encouraging the Discouraged: Students’ Views for Elementary Classrooms
| 233 →
Encouraging the Discouraged
Students’ Views for Elementary Classrooms
Julia Ellis, Susan Fitzsimmons, & Jan Small-McGinley
Every teacher is faced with students whose troubled behavior challenges the teacher’s sense of pedagogical responsibility. But what would the nature of that pedagogical responsibility be under such conditions, and how could one research this question in a way that retained the living voice of the child? This chapter reports on a project that attempts to address those questions. In the context of a video production project we sought to engage students with a history of behavioral difficulties in sharing their views about how elementary school teachers can transform modes of discouragement into modes of encouragement.
The students discussed many aspects of helpful teacher practices. In this paper we provide a brief overview of the ideas they related and then focus on their specific suggestions and experiences related to encouragement. In examining the encouragement or discouragement stories they shared, we saw that encouragement became linked with experiencing teachers as caring and discouragement became linked with experiencing teachers as punishing. Because punishment interfered with both a student’s ability to concentrate on schoolwork and the student’s relationship with the teacher, frustration, punishment, alienation and discouragement easily became a self-perpetuating cycle of despair. Students wanted teachers to recognize their limits and provide appropriate help or at least calming, encouraging words. The students prized personal recognition for accomplishment or improvement and treasured...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.