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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Students’ Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Five Ways to Break the Cycle | Faculty Focus - Teaching and Learning

Photo: Melissa Wehler, PhD
"Faculty are often confronted by the ghosts of educators past. In the writing intensive courses I teach, those ghosts usually manifest in one phrase: “I’m a bad writer.”" notes Dr. Melissa Wehler, serves as the Dean of Humanities and Sciences at Central Penn College.

Photo: Faculty Focus

This embarrassed confession bespeaks an educational experience fraught with negative beliefs and expectations, not just about their writing but about their ability to succeed in general. The phrase becomes an inescapable prophecy lurking in every writing assignment prompt. “I know I'm not going to do well on this assignment,” they explain to themselves, “I'm just not a good writer.” They do not seek help, ask questions, organize their notes, or create outlines and rough drafts of their essays because the outcome is a foregone conclusion. And of course, because they do not do these vital steps in the writing process, they receive poor grades—and the prophecy is fulfilled. From the front of the classroom, however, I can see the reality: the student is not a “bad” writer but merely under-practiced and under-prepared. But how can I help students to see it for themselves? How can I support students to move beyond negative past experiences and make positive ones? How can I empower students to break these cycles?
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Source: Faculty Focus


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