Getting Children to Focus on Learning and Not Grades
It might sound impossible to focus on learning when grades are what get students job interviews, financial aid, and admission to grad school. It should, however, be taught that grades don’t measure ability. What really matters is the knowledge and skills they acquire.
When we teach children to focus on learning and not grades, we teach them that effort and hard work are much more important than IQ. Below are a few ways in which you can shift your child’s perspective.
Assignments = learning opportunities
The entire purpose of giving students assignments is to measure their learning. When we use grades to determine progress, students seem to study for the teachers rather than for themselves.
So, how can you create more effective assignments? You could use open-ended questions that require students to do thorough research on topics. This will lead children to think critically.
Another way to help your child view assignments as learning opportunities is through personal engagement. Try to create assignments that encourage kids to solve real problems and tap into their own experiences.
Allowing more flexibility can also make your assignments more effective. This could involve allowing children to take time to finish tasks instead of imposing impossible time restraints.
After children finish doing an assignment, ask them to write a summary of what they’ve learned. Reflecting on what they’ve understood can tell you more about their progress than grades can.
Interaction with peers
A great way to change the focus of learning is to make children interact with each other. How one child perceives an important concept is different from how someone else views the same concept. Through an exchange of ideas and information, children maximize their learning.