The thing about learning is it is inescapably linked to the people around us.
In school, the room matters, the teacher matters, but the attitude of the people in the room matters the most. The people in the room determine how we see ourselves and therefore, defines our capabilities.
Frank Smith, in his excellent book The Book of Learning and Forgetting, agrees:
“All learning pivots on who we think we are, and who we see ourselves as capable of becoming.”
What this means is we need to foster community. We need to have students associate/connect/ with the achievement possible. That may be out of our hands.
I do know that we need to maintain the highest of expectations for all and we need to ensure the challenge of learning is in each of our students’ wheelhouse: just hard enough.
When students are a part of a community, they identify. They make each other see themselves as capable.
What image of capability is your learning community painting?
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