Balance between support and academic demands.

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From the 4th yr. board. One of the wisest things I’ve heard. What we definitely need to know.🙂

I see Realism as a branch which is more inclined to traditional type of schooling. In realism, the school’s primary mission is to ADVANCE HUMAN RATIONALITY. School’s task is primary INTELLECTUAL. Students must be taught well in the core academics. Education and teachers must aid in unleashing the student’s ultimate purpose which is to exercise RATIONAL THOUGHT to:

  • Understand reality better
  • Encourage self-actualization
  • Guide to the proper and perfect use of his highest, defining power which is reason
  • Live according to reason
  • Help in their pursuit for happiness

Teachers must be EXPERTS in their respective subjects. The teacher is the knowledge giver and a good mixer of teaching methodologies/ strategies that would best fit the students. The challenge lies on the teacher because in a realist school, students are expected to give their full focus, attention and effort on what is being taught. While students may have other interests, they are expected to offer their full commitment to learning. That serves as the student’s primary responsibility and the teacher’s challenge.

Tough, isn’t it? It all goes down to the teacher’s accountability of devising different motivational methods and strategies to effectively execute these realism ideals.

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Develop the student’s rational thought.

This is I think one of the hardest challenges a teacher could ever face in line with student motivation. For me, in an Idealist, Pragmatist and Existentialist side, it’s easier to motivate the students. In an Idealist’s perspective, students are directed to their ultimate purpose of spiritual belief. Divine intervention is innate in human beings so student encouragement is easier. On the other hand, in Pragmatism and Existentialism, learning is rooted in the student’s core interests and needs so obviously, erudition is favourable to the children. As compared to Realism, INTELLECTUAL discovery and transmission is the school’s primary task and students are EXPECTED to be committed to their academic studies and must not focus on other interests which may block academic thought. So it’s basically rough on the part of the students since learning the academics are firmly classified as compulsory. How can the teacher effectively motivate the students to learn in a Realist school whole-heartedly, giving their full focus and effort?

To ensure student motivation, one key approach is to know the students’ backgrounds and different vital steps on how to encourage them. In short, KNOW YOUR STUDENTS. Try to not only be a mentor, but also to be a friend to them, not forgetting to draw the line between student-teacher relationship. Through knowing the students, the teacher will be able to concoct of different ways and methods on transmitting lessons depending on the student’s background and situation. Always try to listen to your students on what they have to say and on what they think. Though the curriculum is purely academic and intellectual, DON’T BE ONE. Leave the academic side to the subject matter itself. Stick on the core academic lesson and on the duty of being an expert on the subject matter but try to inject respect, care, consideration and love to the students. Help them to understand better, rather than to merely correct and critique. Being a teacher is being able to help in nurturing the students. Let’s give the students a break. Let’s put ourselves in our students’ shoes. In a traditional school, if all concentration lies on the academics, where is the fun in that? Can you still find room for enjoyment and excitement? Let’s face it. When we were students ourselves before, didn’t we despise pure academic activities also? Pure seriousness? As teachers, try to consider these things that the students are facing. Give the students something to look after to. Through the teacher’s different and special methods in teaching, even in a pure intellectual education, students might find drive and enthusiasm after all.

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Increasing students’ motivation is linked to changing problematic behaviour and increasing positive thoughts.

Also, challenge the students to help them realize their own potential for rationality. Let the students appreciate the importance of rationality to human existence. That living according to reason is our surest guide to our daily and future living.

Help the students develop the essence of having shrewd “common-sense”.  This would aid them in dealing with all dimensions of living – personal, social, economic, political, ethical and aesthetic. (from Gutek’s book) Should the student realize the importance and connection of learning to daily living, the child will surely show interest.

Lastly, assist the student in his pursuit for happiness through developing the practice of self-actualization. Liberate the student in the sense that they must be able to outline their own future based on what they think they are made for (still goes back to using rational thought and discovering their substance-ultimate element). The student must know how to drive his/ her own life for good transformation through learning.

Isn’t it nice and fulfilling to see that students are motivated because of the astounding difference the teacher has caused despite being in a solely intellectual environment?

It is even more fulfilling to know that your students actually enjoyed school and settled to the realization that school journey is indeed a particularly happy one.

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