True learning takes place over a long period of time. The fact that a student seems to understand something in one lesson is no guarantee that they will still understand it a few weeks later. So if we can’t be sure certain learning is embedded, how can we make sure each lesson is successful and effective?
At BIS Abu Dhabi, one of the key words we focus on is “CHALLENGE”. In each lesson our aim is to ensure that every student is challenged at the level that is most appropriate for them. In other words, every student should feel as though their brain is hurting just a little bit! By focusing on high levels of challenge we know that students will aim high and their learning and skills do continue to develop at a fast rate.
The Pygmalion Effect comes from a series of studies which showed that having high expectations for students helps raise their achievement. If we as teachers aim high then students will aim to meet and often exceed our expectations. By having high levels of challenge we get students used to aiming high and stretching their brains. This then helps them to reach even higher levels in the future. By the way, the opposite of the Pygmalion Effect is known as the “golem effect”: low expectations lead to low achievement.
In supporting your children at home, seek to help them to aim high and have belief in themselves that they can achieve something which at first seems difficult. They will be used to being challenged at school and they know that just because something is not easy to begin with that does not mean it is impossible. Challenge and support over time will help our students achieve amazing levels of learning and have excellent skills to encounter other learning opportunities in the future.