ARTICLE: Students’ Attitudes towards Learning

ARTICLE: Students’ Attitudes towards Learning

Preamble is a respond to an article

“Formal education is a very important tool for a nation’s development in this cotemporary world of ours. But can we continue to make it so flexible for every tom-dick-and-harry to access formal education? I am not a prophet of doom; but I am afraid for the future of the educational system in the country. Are we not producing an academic apostle who are interested in getting “A” in every subject but sees it as a punishment to read? Are we not going to produce mediocre scholars who cannot transfer the knowledge gained into any meaningful venture? The educationists of the country should wake up. I stand to be corrected, but can’t we change some of our educational policies so that only those who are academically inclined or ready can make it to the tertiary level after getting the basic? The informal sector needs to be developed.”

Overview

In our contemporary society, according to social and political scientists, it is characterized by at least three fundamental directions:

Increasing human interconnection through a network of relationships that is progressively covering the whole planet;

The pace and depth of the evolution of technological innovation must represent an absolute novelty in human society;

The scale of anthropological and ecological transformation due to the interaction between evolutionary factors (social, cultural, economic, and technological).

These are some examples, but there are many more. Our system of education should be the result of a fundamental change that are irreversibly transforming our daily lives, our way of thinking and perceiving the world around us and our way of living together on this earth.

Among these fundamental changes are: improvements in life conditions, life expectancy, literacy and gender equality; changes in domestic and international political institutions; and the breakdown of natural equilibria. 

Education as already stated is one of the most useful, important and long lasting legacy that can be given to a child. It usually equips the learner with knowledge and how to handle the various challenges in life in his/her socio-cultural and economic environment. It is usually passed on from one person to another and from one generation to generation formally or informally, to reduce the high rates of illiteracy.

Due to the value or importance attached to education, various governments in various countries usually come out with policies and acceptable curricula that will help her citizens to get a ‘better’ education. Some offer it free and others on subsidized prices, all in the name of building the human capacity/manpower the nation needs for her development. There are six major departments that countries, in which Ghana is no exception is focusing on to achieve her goals. They are Education, Languages, Mathematics/ICT, Sciences, Social Sciences and T’VET.  As to which discipline should dominate depends on a nation’s goals and aspirations. Even though emphasis should be placed on T’VET, language(s) should lay the foundation of the child’s educational system. Policies, rules and regulations are attached to ensure that it is availed to all and the implementation very smooth. But what do we see in our country? It seems in implementing the various norms governing the educational system; a lot of things have gone wrong.

This essay seeks to find out pupils’/students’/learners’ attitude towards learning effectively and the various factors hindering effective practices and what need to be done as a country in this contemporary world of ours, in which because of education (advancement in science  and technology), the world has now become a global village. If you do not prepare well you are left behind.

Students’ Attitude towards Learning

Attitude can change each of a person’s life; especially the learner, including his/her education. A student’s attitudes on learning decide his/her ability and eagerness to learn. If negative attitudes are not changed, a student is doubtful to continue his/her education beyond what is necessary for his/her future. Altering a student’s negative attitudes towards learning is an approach that should involve deciding the factors governing the attitude which are numerous and if checked can bring about total transformation.

How can Teachers decide a Student’s Attitudes on Learning?

There are numerous answers to this question but for the purpose of this piece, I will concentrate on few.

It is when a student does not have inspiration and enthusiasm; he/she fails to grasp the concepts of even a subject. Reading which another important topic on its own is the foundation tool of every child’s progress in his /her academic journey and it should be emphasized even when the child is in its mother’s womb.

A student at a particular age level appears to longing a positive attitude and the motivation to learn. Once a teacher reveals a student’s attitudes on learning, the challenge of making use of the information available to form positive attitude changes, especially in a situation where the content and pedagogical knowledge of the instructor in question is below average.

Teaching methods of teachers have a role to play. Teaching is used to inculcate facts and master fundamental aptitudes. The teacher may outline what will be taught but if a direct method is used; the learner will end up learning nothing. The learner can never learn something. This form of teaching can dishearten creativeness and contribution as part of the learning process.

The nature of joy of the teacher and learner in the teaching-learning process also has a role to play. Joy is common to all classrooms for the teacher and students. When there is a high regard for joy, there would be a favourable interaction between the instructor and the learner(s).

Professional development of the task should be paramount. This will encourage the learner(s) to learn hard.

Growth of mindset and a culture of error is a very significant tool in a student’s learning attitude. The learner right from the word go should be taught that learning involves taking risks and making mistakes. The ability to overcome them, makes one a great student, especially in this part of our world where resources are inadequate and poverty remains absolute.

A student-centred environment should be created to enable students actively participate in planning, creating, and evaluating. The student should be made aware that studies is not just for passing an exams; but how to utilize the knowledge gained in all spheres of life. Learning should be more than just limiting it to the four walls covered in the student’s work.

Another important factor is a community of mutual respect and safety of the student. Students cannot learn if they do not feel safe both at home and in school. Peaceful environment should be created for the learner.

Promotion of real life atmosphere – teachers are real people, parents are real people and students are also real people. The content and conversation are initiated from and return to the outside of the school. If examples of life experiences are not provided from real life situation the learner will get lost.

 The Temperament of the Learner

Some students are far better than others, even when controlling for family background, school curriculum, and teacher quality. Variance in academic performance that persists when actual variables are held constant suggests that whether students fail or thrive depends not only on circumstance, but also on relatively stable individual differences in how students respond to circumstance. More academically talented children outperform their less able peers (Rothbort and Rued, 2005).

The instructor needs to prepare comprehensively to teach by knowing the core thing to teach in the lesson. As a facilitator/teacher, haven’t taught at all levels from basic to university can testify the numerous individual differences toward learning by students.

School Readiness

The transitation  to  formal schooling marks a dramatic change  in  the  way  young children spend time,  expectations  for self-regulation and compliance  with authority, and consequences  for  their  meeting  their  expectations have influence on their learning .  As children progress through secondary and post-secondary education associations between individual differences and course grades markedly diminish, with the notable exception of conscientiousness   (Jensen, 1980). Teacher-student relationships in the classroom can either facilitate or inhibit student learning. The ways teachers and students communicate with each other both impact those relationships and are modified by the relationships.

The concepts of socio-communicative orientation (SCO) and socio-communicative style (SCS) which were advanced by McCroskey and Richmond (1996) as basic elements of communication competence should be promoted in our classrooms to promote effective teaching and learning process.

Conclusion

To conclude, attitude is a learned behaviour and, as such is highly susceptible to change. The Behavioural Theory requires “positive reinforcement” or reward for good behaviour. This theory is consistent with the attitudes toward learning, especially at the elementary level. Once a good foundation is laid, it will lead the learner to all levels. Taxonomy Theory also states that a learning attitude is developed over time, and that past learning experiences affect future learning experiences. This is evident in adult students considering returning to school to further their education.        

Written by:

Mr. Frimpong Stephen Jnr.

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