Kanar’s ‘The Confident Student’ Text Summary of Chapters 1-4
Although chapter 1 of Kanar's book "The Confident Student" is titled, “Becoming a Confident Student” Kanar (2011) notes that the chapter primarily deals with the concept of flexibility. Specifically, how the students can learn to be flexible in the learning environment.
According to Kanar, being flexible means that one has an open mind and is willing to be adequate to circumstances (p. 5). One way that Kanar discusses flexibility has to do with diversity, and being accepting of others different from themselves. Regarding ways to become a more confident student, Kanar sites examples of how and when to ask questions of teachers. This writer appreciated the section dealing with how to ask questions with confidence, and plans to remind students of the four Ts- topic, tone, timing and trust (pp. 20-21).
Since students attend college to learn, motivation is a key to college experience. In chapter 2, Kanar (2011) discusses the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and lists four keys to college success: accessing one’s strengths and weaknesses, discovering and using one’s learning style, adapting to other learning styles and developing critical thinking and learning strategies (p. 28). Kanar further demonstrates the necessity of understanding and using learning preferences to enhance comprehension. This writer is very interested in the concept of learning preferences, and would plan to discuss this concept in class, as well as teach students how to study for tests while utilizing their strengths and preferences.
Students do not just learn from taking-in facts from reading and class discussions. In chapter 3, Kanar (2011) refers to Bloom’s taxonomy as a model of the student’s though process and eventual student success in the course (pp. 62-63). The levels of Bloom’s taxonomy include: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (p. 62). Students who progress through all six levels will fully understand material better than those who stay at just the “knowledge” level by memorizing facts. As Kanar notes, Bloom’s levels help show students how to think critically and creatively (p. 64). Kanar further notes that integrating new information is one of the best ways to remember the concept (p. 73). This chapter helped the writer to understand the importance of the teacher herself being organized, as it will help students to be better note-takers.
Articles in this series on Kanar's Book:
Confident students have a positive attitude and know how to set realistic and reachable goals. In chapter 4, Kanar (2011) discusses such topics as the six characteristics of goals, and how to write an action plan that lists the steps and timeframe for accomplishing formed goals (pp. 93-95). Since Kanar recognizes that things do not always go according to plan, she further discusses the COPE strategy that lists steps for resolving goal-related problems (pp. 97-100). Recognizing the importance of helping students get projects turned in on time, this teacher plans to break down projects into smaller more manageable goals, and have students turn in steps to major assignments along the way to ensure a better final project.
Kanar, C. C. (2011). The confident student. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.