Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Microstory 733: Credos, Convention Seven: Constructiveness, Chapter One

Long ago, there was young man, who was trying very hard in school, but struggled oh so much. The school system he was in was hurting for money, and did not have the resources to cater to every student’s needs. They didn’t even have the energy, or the compensation, to care about any of the children, and were always quite apathetic towards them. They would mark his assignments as wrong, but would never explain to him why. Once each assignment was finished, they would move right on to the next lesson, as if he had learned everything he needed to know to comprehend the next concepts. Knowing that this was not working, the student’s parents conscripted help from a tutor. The tutor was very nice to him, telling him that he actually was a good student, and just needed to work a little harder. Whenever he came close to getting an answer right, she would reward him with snacks. But still his grades faltered, for still he was learning nothing. He was just too far behind to do any of the assignments. Seeing that this method was ineffective, the student’s parents hired a new tutor. This one was much like the teachers, but since they were meeting under were one-on-one conditions, he was able to focus more on his needs. But he was also insulting and mean. Instead of rewarding success, he would punish failure. The student learned some of the material, but only enough to answer some questions right. He still didn’t understand it, which meant he could not reapply any knowledge to unrelated situations. The parents tried a third and final tutor. She was far better than the first two, and also his teachers. She did not reward him for his successes, nor punish him for his failures. She taught him to think for himself, and explained to him why this information was important, and how he might use it when he was older. She would mark his assignments thoroughly, telling him not only that he was wrong, but trying to figure out his thought process, and using this to set him back on the right track. Her criticisms were helpful, for they encouraged the student’s growth and development, ultimately forming problem-solving skills and coping mechanisms that allowed him to study on his own. Equipped with these techniques, he quickly became one of the school’s best students.

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