Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
1. Think back to your own personal experiences and try to identify situations in which your learning was positively influenced when someone reinforced your effort or recognized your accomplishments in some significant way. You might also remember situations that would have been improved if someone had reinforced your effort or had given you recognition.
2. Explain some of the reasons that, despite teachers’ attempts to emphasize effort, many students still hold on to the belief that their successes and failures are due to their ability, or lack thereof, or to other outside forces.
Homework and Practice
1. Think back on your years of experience—as a student—as the recipient of homework assignments. Try to describe the types of assignments that enhanced your own learning and those that had little, or even a negative, effect on your learning.
2. Reviewing the research on homework emphasizes the importance of commenting on students’ homework assignments. What strategies would you recommend to a teacher who wants to assign homework but claims that it is logistically impossible to comment on students’ work?
3. If you were discussing homework and practice with colleagues, what issues would you raise and what recommendations would you make?