From "On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life" by Skip Downing
Successful Students ...
- Accept self-responsibility, seeing themselves as the primary cause of their outcomes and experiences.
- Discover self-motivation, finding purpose in their lives by discovering personally meaningful goals and dreams.
- Master self-management, consistently planning and taking purposeful actions in pursuit of their goals and dreams.
- Employ interdependence, building mutually supportive relationships that help them achieve their goals and dreams.
- Gain self-awareness, consciously employing behaviors, beliefs and attitudes that keep them on course.
- Adopt life-long learning, finding valuable lessons and wisdom in nearly every experience they have.
- Develop emotional intelligence, effectively managing their emotions in support of their goals and dreams.
- Believe in themselves, seeing themselves capable, lovable and unconditionally worthy as human beings.
Struggling Students ...
- See themselves as Victims, believing that what happens is determined by external forces such as fate, luck, and powerful others.
- Have difficulty sustaining motivation, often feeling depressed, frustrated, and/or resentful about a lack of direction in their lives.
- Seldom identify specific actions needed to accomplish a desired outcome. And when they do, they tend to procrastinate.
- Are solitary, seldom requesting, even rejecting offers of assistance from those who could help.
- Make important choices unconsciously, being directed by self-sabotaging habits and outdated life scripts.
- Resist learning new ideas and skills, viewing learning as fearful or boring rather than as mental play.
- Live at the mercy of strong emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety, or a need for instant gratification.
- Doubt their competence and personal value, feeling inadequate to create their desired outcomes and experiences.
"To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner." - George Leonard
Major Points About Learning
From "We’re Born to Learn" by Rita Smilkstein
- Your brain was born to learn, loves to learn and knows how to learn.
- You learn what you practice. Practice is making mistakes, correcting mistakes, learning from them, and trying over, again and again. Making and learning from mistakes is a natural and necessary part of learning.
- You learn what you practice because when you are practicing your brain is growing new fibers (dendrites) and connecting them (as synapses). Learning is the growth of these new fibers.
- Learning takes time because you need time to grow and connect dendrites.
- If you don’t use it, you can lose it. Dendrites and synapses can begin to disappear if you don’t use them (if you don’t practice or use what you have learned).
- Your emotions affect your brain’s ability to learn, think and remember. Self-doubt, fear, etc., prevent your brain from learning, thinking and remembering. Confidence, interest, etc. help your brain learn, think and remember.
- Remember, you are a natural-born learner.