What, according to you are the traits of an excellent Learner?
Many of the teachers I know frequently use terms such as ' he is a great student' ; 'she is an excellent learner' . what makes a good learner? How do we avoid prejudging and bias as a teacher in classifying our learners as good or bad?
I think the most important trait is the desire to learn...doesn't mean smart or less smart but the desire to learn and improve oneself. That desire leaves you open to all that comes and shows an eagerness and willingness to explore new things. So often even a good teacher falls into the trap of looking for a good student by how intelligent that student is....sometimes Johnny sitting in the last seat in the last row, with the leather jacket and long hair, is really the smartest kid in the class. The problem is he doesn't want to learn. If you can reach him and change his mind about learning you'll find out how really smart he is.
Well Said! The character as a learner is important. Sometimes the action of learning does not lead to improvement of self, yet more so the 'another.' And, too, Johnny may have been conditioned not to share s/he is a learner - publicly.
absolutely: Motivation to learn, variety of learning methods, taking ownership to learn, longer term performance goals, seeking out resources ... can be traits of an excellent learner - influencing this dependes on the teachers unbiased attention...
I think an excellent learner is one who can apply what he/she learns in real life situations. It' s one thing to understand a mathematical equation, but unless you know how to apply it, it won't help you one bit.
Hello Docmo! An intriguing question. A possible alternative view may be to explore 'bad' and 'good.' Personally the term I have heard more than not has been 'poor' learner. Sharing, I have every report card of my formal learning life. My mom & dad saved them. Long ago (early 60's) 'poor' was an evaluation term as compared to need improvement, good, and excellent.
Poor at a personal perspective means lacking. In the case of a student 'learning' attention, assistance, or aid becomes the remedy by one who has more abundance or wealth, yet not necessarily of richness of the specific subject.
Socially, again at a personal level, 'bad' is a connotation of a moral distinction or at minimum an ethical evaluation. Pondering, maybe similar to the difference of indifference between stupid and ignorant. A favorite reply used in argumentative discussions when someone says 'your stupid' is to counter with 'at least I am not ignorant.'
Pondering a little more, desiring a cup of coffee, , considering the old adage see - hear - do - teach the question at times, yet not always is, 'what?' is seen and heard, is done, and then taught. However, as the illustration points out and the American TV show 'Let's Make a Deal' capitalized on is 'what is' behind door #1, door #2, and door #3 is a surprise.
Continuing for a bit and a byte. Upon picking a door or curtain the contents are revealed. Then the announcement is made by the MC stating the condition of good or bad with or similar too, " Ahhhhhh, not the winning grand prize," yet was not the choice a surprise of value? The 'choice' becomes nil or at the least discounted at a social level by the perceived leadership, which could be the 'teacher.' Another old adage is 'perception is reality.'
A question may be proposed was the choice 'bad?' Again, at a personal level, I think not. Yet, inclination of the responding audience perception is the participant made a 'bad choice' with again, 'Ahhhhhh.' Here is where an odd sense of humor comes to play a bit and a byte. The contestant now has a decision to make. The contestant can agree and say 'Ahhhhh,' while lowering their head (embarrassed for making the wrong and now bad decision) or with a dash of transcendence, a sprinkling of realization, and maybe a pinch of hope cry aloud Ha, Ha, Ha I have more than I had and that is enough.
Giggling, it's like the critic stating that is 'bad' grammar. I hear 'a teacher' making a moral or ethical evaluation, so what is learned?
great answer and many points to ponder. I often wonder how often does a teacher brand a student as 'poor' if their teaching style fails to reach? How much is the motivation to learn in a learner stimulated by a teacher's abilities?
Doc, I concur. Socrates said, "teachers must reach learners where 'they are." St. Ambrose said, "If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way, if you are elsewhere, live as they do there" Are these metaphors awaiting allegory? Literary 'device' +/- ive?
According to me -
Willingness to learn
Wants to fully understand
Eagerness to explore more and more.
I have taught over 5,000 students in 28 years, and the single greatest trait of my better students is curiosity. Without curiosity, a student is only going through the motions. A curious student will ask the next question ... and the next. A curious student won't be satisfied with one possible answer but all possible answers. A curious student will ask "What about ..." and "What if we ..." and "Couldn't it be ..." Curious students keep their teachers on their toes, and honestly, they are the reason I keep getting out of bed at 6 AM to prepare my lessons.
OK, Docmo...I'll tackle this one. The "traits" of an excellent learner. He or she is:
Enthusiastic and open-minded
Knows how to listen and focus......explore and study a subject.
Express him/her self clearly and concisely.
Loves to read........and write
Willing to research and explore
Can appreciate discussion and debate
Follow instructions and complete assignments as requested.
Contributes ideas and challenges himself and fellow-students.
This pretty much wraps up my opinion...........Good question, Docmo! Thanks
So many excellent answers, all of which I agree with...
I would personally summarize that students with the abilities to be creative and to think critically about the material presented...to make the lesson meaningful to their lives or practiced field...excel in my classroom.
I believe a teacher's greatest role is to engage the students and foster excitement and purpose in learning. Of course, the student has a major responsibility in the process...if a student puts in excellent efforts, they will undoubtedly have an excellent and meaningful learning experience.
A student learns when a student is inspired by a competent, articulate, resource-knowledgeable subject-matter expert--if the student choses to set aside time for study, the conduct of inquiry (research, investigation, and so forth), and expends energy on mastering material and not preoccupied with social affairs and temporary love lifes. Students who want to learn, who work at learning, will never accept any stated "fact" until the students personally investigate all research on the alleged facts and then makes, collectively and individually, a competent, coherent, cogent statement of what the students think are facts. This comes with the ability to question all things and all people including teachers. There is no one infallible in any area nor has there been, for all facts (such as Ptolemy's theories) have been disproven, as knowledge is an evolving reality.
Passionate about learning.
Links what is learned to all subjects.
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