[Numeracy 194] Why students "shut down"

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Michael Gyori tesolmichael at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 17 19:54:54 EST 2010

Greetings Susan and all,

Learning how to actively listen and behold is paramount - I couldn't agree more!

I would say that the learnability of whatever is being taught depends on the teacher's ability to tap into the background knowledge (I like to refer to this as the "cognitive realm") and affective disposition of the student.  The notion of "multiple layers of complex concepts" is highly relative: whatever is being presented may be crystal clear and simple for one person and impenetrable fog for the other...

It is "here" that I believe teaching to be an artist's craft, comprised of a host of personal traits as well as accumulated skills, experiences, and knowledge.


Michael A. Gyori
Maui International Language School 

From: Susan Jones <SUJones at parkland.edu>
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
Sent: Wed, February 17, 2010 8:05:32 AM
Subject: [Numeracy 190] Re: The double negative language-math link

I have watched many students simply shut down when confronted with
multiple layers of complex concepts.  I strive to find the short cuts --
the connections to *valid* models they've already got in their minds.
I've had students come to me in tears because a teacher has "explained"
things by making connections to other new stuff and making them feel
even stupider than when they walked in.  (Happily, not often... and
otehr students *crave* the connections... it's all about listening.) 

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
sujones at parkland.edu

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