Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Students Need Individual Attention

Growing up as an honor student, I always had a lot of people tell me that I was smart and intelligent because of my good grades in school. I never disagreed with them openly, but I knew that was not quite accurate.

For example, there were always smarter kids than me, and they did not necessarily do better on exams. And there were other students who were not as quick or smart as the other kids, yet managed to consistently get better grades. I am confident that most teachers can quickly identify these types of students; and if you paid attention in your school, then you would have noticed this too.

Basically, there are three types of pupils among gifted or honor students.

First, there are the really smart kids who quickly learn new concepts, vocabulary, and material. They are typically the most easily distracted students, since they are the ones who are bored most often. If these students are not learning some interesting, then they hardly have any motivation to pay attention in class and tend to distract other students. These students are the least likely to study a lot, since they think they already fully understand the material.

Second, there are the good students who have good memory. Repetition or re-reviewing course material over and over again is a good way to get these students bored too. For instance, they donít need to be reminded who Paul Revere was each and every year. These students are also less likely to study, since they lazily rely on their better memories. However, they are more likely to pay attention in class, since they typically prefer passive learning than having to read a textbook or spend extra time studying. Therefore, they disrupt the class less often.

Third, there are the good students who are hard workers. They understand everything the teacher teaches, yet they are noticeably slower to grasp new concepts. They write copious notes in each class and spend a huge amount of time studying and re-reading textbooks over and over again, since their memories are not as good as the first two types of students. Oddly, they are also the first ones to forget what they just learned.

Every advanced honor student falls into each of these three categories to a certain extent. For instance, I think I fell mostly in the second category, and a little bit in first category. That is why I can attest that students with better than average memory are often placed in honor classes, even though they are not necessary smarter than average students. It is just that they do better on exams.

Unfortunately as you can see, each of these three types of honor students has at least one serious and fundamental flaw. The trick to teaching gifted students is to address the studentís short comings on an individual basis, because they can easily breeze through most schools without having the need to improve themselves. Instead, teachers only continue teaching the curriculum without teaching their pupils how to learn better and be a better student.

I know schools are overcrowded, and individual attention to students is getting more difficult for most schools. Yet, it is our duty to give honor students individual attention that they need to better themselves, because these students are our best hope for our future.

I am sure that average students need individual attention too. Unfortunately, schools are unable to give this needed individual attention to each student. That is why parents need to take an active role in their childrenís education at home. Only a parent is truly dedicated and loving enough to ensure that their children receive the best education.

by Phil for Humanity
on 07/23/2007

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