Good Grades versus Good Learning

I’d have to admit that I may be one of the thousands of parents who have always wanted to have her child consistently get good grades in school. The reason behind it is quite simple. I always had the impression that good grades always translate to a smart kid. Little did I imagine that even if my child gets all the high marks in school, if she fails to apply the knowledge and skills that were carefully thought out, planned, implemented and reviewed conscientiously by an able institution, then everything done was just for compliance’ sake. It was not for ‘good learning’.

As I now understand that good learners:

a) are always curious. They will often wonder about things that they do not know about and get thrilled over the discovery of new things. These discoveries satisfy them as their curiosity grows.
b) pursue understanding diligently. This means that good learners are willing to put in the time and effort to discover everything about something that stirs their curiosity. They may find reading, analyzing, evaluating and other works tedious but do it anyway because they never stop thinking about what they want to learn. They are persistent, and giving up is never an option for them.
c) recognize that a lot of learning isn’t fun. Despite that, their love for learning never stops. The journey may be bumpy at times but once they start to understand and put the pieces together, then they find genuine satisfaction and happiness and would most likely go through everything again even if what’s waiting for them is the same string of difficulties and challenges before the actual prize of learning is achieved.
d) are scared of failures but see the benefits of it. They may stumble and fall and experience numerous failures but what makes them move forward is the confidence that they will eventually figure things out and that those failures are all part of the process of learning. Besides, who says that one cannot learn from a failure or a misstep.
e) are responsible for making knowledge their own. Good learners make room for new learnings and are open to changing their knowledge structure once they have determined that something does not make sense. In the process, they make a bigger and better knowledge structure that connects in meaningful ways with what  they already know.
f) are always full of questions. Good learners are always hungry to know more about anything and they live for new discoveries and answers. Even if at times those answers do not give them the bigger picture. Lastly,
g) are generous with what they’ve learned. Knowledge lacks the ability to spread unless it’s passed on, that’s why good learners are committed to sharing with others what they’ve learned in ways that make sense to others. They can communicate their ideas and find meaningful ways on how they can leave what they’ve learned with others.

I have become more open to the idea that good grades should not just be about the numbers, instead, it should be about what the student has gained, demonstrated, accomplished, valued and shared. It should be all about the kind of learner that the student has become.

P.S. The thoughts mentioned above are paraphrased by yours truly from a material that I’ve read.

Reference: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/seven-characteristics-good-learners/#sthash.JPgDIcp5.dpuf

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