News Roundup: Teaching Grit

This week, a different take on teaching grit and strategies for having students take ownership of the classroom.

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Lessons Learned
The problem facing higher ed is not a shortage of ideas, Steven Mintz opines, but the ability to implement them. As founder of the Institute for Transformational Learning, Mintz sought to address issues like equipping adults with lifelong learning skills. He learned several lessons, including that people must recognize that the problems facing higher ed exist before they can address them, and gains are incremental. (Higher Ed Gamma)

Schemata and Instructional Strategies
According to Jeffrey Czarnec and Michelle Hill, students’ understanding of material is drawn through the lens of their prior experiences, or “schema.” Czarnec and Hill describe strategies instructors can use to activate students’ schemata, such as clustering new information with existing ideas—describing how the material might relate to students’ experiences. (The Evolllution)

We’re Teaching Grit the Wrong Way
“We need to teach students how to use their emotions as tools to achieve their goals,” David DeSteno writes. According to DeSteno, the traditional practices thought to build grit—perseverance in the face of challenges—involve emphasizing self-control and can be harmful to students who are already stressed and anxious. Instead, he suggests building gratitude and compassion by focusing on future rewards and long-term success. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Opening the Classroom: Ownership and Engagement
Wanting students to take ownership of his class, Ben Van Overmeire implemented strategies such as having students discuss questions and take notes in a shared Google Doc and assigning students to teach portions of the class. Next time, he hopes to promote engagement further through efforts like having students create learning goals. (Hybrid Pedagogy)

Three Lessons on Beating the Odds, from a First-Gen College Student
As a first-generation college student, Vinlisa Khoeum faces unique challenges. Here, she offers advice to other first-gen students, including taking advantage of faculty and staff mentorship and student-success coaching and making concrete plans to achieve goals. (The Hechinger Report)

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