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Home » Elementary School Ideas » East-West Learning Approaches

Please use this forum to share ideas, materials, and methods for teaching about Asia that are appropriate for elementary children. Please also note the social studies, literature, and other discipline-specific threads in the "Asia in My Classroom" forum.
11/12/2012 8:30:12 AM

vhaddad
vhaddad
Posts: 31
Subject: NPR Story on East-West Learning Difference--Helpful!
Below is the link to the story I heard this morning on NPR covering a major difference noticed in the way students in Asia and students in the West approach learning, especially when it becomes difficult. I find this very helpful and may play it for my class. So often several of my students want to raise a white flag at even mildly challenging assignments. 'Makes me worry how that may carry over in later life when they face real-world situation--unless they cultivate a major attitude change toward difficulty in general.

[font=Times]http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/12/164793058/struggle-for-smarts-how-eastern-and-western-cultures-tackle-learning[/font]
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11/12/2012 9:27:21 PM

zrichardson
zrichardson
Posts: 66
Subject: Reflections on effort trial and error-East-West Learning Approaches
Effort links novice to expert. Rigorous practice leads to performing a task with automaticity, or at least establishes a learning pattern for internalizing any giving routine and a chance to try performing a routine or task with confidence. As a result performing the task becomes second nature. The west approach to learning is minimizing the impact of embarrassment a child may experience, while attempting to complete a task. However the east view flawed performance as an opportunity for task analysis and see what areas can be strengthen by trial and error. It seems that is in this process that learning takes place. However, is worth stating that; “Stigler is not the first psychologist to notice the difference in how east and West approach the experience of intellectual struggle…Jin Li is a professor at Brown University who, like Stigler, compares the learning beliefs of Asian and U.S. children. She says that to understand why these two cultures view struggle so differently, it's good to step back and examine how they think about where academic excellence comes from.”
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/12/164793058/struggle

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Zrichardson
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11/13/2012 6:01:13 PM

mparrille
mparrille
Posts: 31
Subject:
Wow, loved listening to/reading this article. As a sixth grade teacher, I have definitely noticed my students giving up quickly and trying to avoid working through a problem. The general consensus is that when someone finishes something quickly, they are smarter than the others. Or that when a student doesn't struggle to find an answer they are more intelligent. Like the conversation between a mother and her child about reading/discussing books as a sign of intelligence, the former scenarios are very common is the western culture and American classrooms. But after reading this article, I would like to challenge myself to challenge my students to honor hard work and the struggle it takes to get there.
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11/17/2012 9:43:36 PM

nfreeman
nfreeman
Posts: 35
Subject:
Insightful information. It reinforces many of my strategies as a teacher since I feel that so many of our students are quick to give up and the students who seem to master the information quickly are first to respond. Our struggling students need to feel confident in their struggle and be pushed to continue to think their way through the process without looking for a "quick fix." Hopefully we will have a paradigm shift in the way we approach teaching and learning in America so that struggling intellectually is no longer equated with low ability.
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11/19/2012 8:33:03 AM

mmaitchoukow
mmaitchoukow
Posts: 42
Subject:
I absolutely love it and how helpful to encouraging. I used to work for Kaplan many years ago and from day one we were trained on 'automaticity' so I know exactly what this is all about.
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1/13/2013 8:59:07 PM

mapodaca
mapodaca
Posts: 36
Subject:
I agree with the interviews that we as people do not put enough emphasis on the fact to learn or accomplish anything the individual must struggle and that this struggle is worth having. One can learn from the struggle itself.
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10/6/2014 3:18:41 PM

egonzalez
egonzalez
Posts: 32
Subject: It's Okay to Struggle
I really enjoyed reading the article you presented by Alix Spiegel. I agree with his point of view, in the United States we often see it as a red flag if a student is showing difficulty acquiring new knowledge. In reality, it's just a part of the learning process for many students.
As a third grade teacher, I don't think I would call on the student who is completing the problem incorrectly to come up and show the class, but only because of the way the class would respond. I would be afraid that the other students would think poorly of the student, or make him/her feel bad. Perhaps over time, when the learning environment is more secure for a situation like this, I would give it a try.
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12/1/2014 6:24:58 AM

ttotten
ttotten
Posts: 31
Subject: East-West Learning Differences
This was an insightful article. One of the shifts in Common Core is having students struggle first with new information. Most of my students are learning how to persevere and not give up so quickly. I am learning to allow students to struggle. Students are conditioned that an answer will be given quickly by another student or by the teacher when they do not have an answer. It should be exciting to see students' outcome in the next few years. I wonder if the phrase, "Will this be on the test?" disappear.
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5/6/2015 11:21:13 PM

iramos
iramos
Posts: 35
Subject: The idea of struggling
I actually read some of this article to my 5th grade students because many them are easily defeated when taking on challenges. We examined some of the learning environment differences between Eastern and Western cultures then focused on the example of the Japanese student undertaking the challenge of solving the problem in front of the class. Many of my students stated that they would likely die of embarrassment had they been in that student's shoes, but following the outcome of the story, many believed that struggling was a good thing and embarrassment was a sensation they were likely to get over. They each wrote a paragraph on why it is okay to struggle and why people should struggle.

Since this activity, I have noticed a shift in some students' work habits and persistence. Some students are also less easily embarrassed when it comes to displaying student work, which has been amazing to see. I'm really glad to have come across this article. I know it is from years ago, but thanks for sharing!
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