Course: 2018-19S1 EPC5014 (02E) FOUNDATION PROCESSES OF LRNG
Name: Chan Ting Lam Tammy
Student no. : 11285473
A Secondary-two student, Marcus who is a fast-learner and quite intelligent but he has anxiety disorder. He changed from a band 1 school to a band 2 school because he was stressful of the heavy schoolwork and he thought most of the classmates were better than him. His previous school focuses on the outcomes and performance results of the students. He needed to study very hard to chase the others’ performance that fulfill his parents’ expectation. This made him frustrated. Therefore, he started to escape from this situation and got bad performance in academic areas, such as mathematics, science and geography.
Even now he studies at a new school, he always makes some excuses for procrastinating homework. During the lessons, he does not pay attention and is passive to participate in some tasks, mostly to avoid the challenging tasks. However, he is interested in Arts and active in Visual Arts lesson. According to the Visual Arts teacher said, he always stays behind to finish his Arts work after school and interacts with his friends who have the same interests.
At the beginning, his parents push him a lot to be an outstanding student. After discover anxiety disorder, they are shocked and careful to take care of their son. However, they still worry about his academic results in main subjects affected by his interests. Therefore, his parents have inseparable connection with school. As we know from his parents, he is a good son to help parents do housework and can take care himself independently. However, he always watches some videos about sketching and graphics skills on YouTube and does some creative works when at home, ignoring homework and other schoolwork. His parents tried to persuade him, but he didn’t listen.
Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory
Intelligence is defined as the whole amount of everythings you know, the ability to learn or what do people earn from experience, and the ability to deal with the problems. In Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory, there are three aspects to study how people respond to the problems.
Analytical intelligence is involved when analysing, judging, comparing, evaluating etc. It usually involves dealing with relatively familiar problems and the solving processes.
Marcus has bad performance in most of the subjects, he is afraid to do some complicated tasks with using the above skills. He is not willing to learn and try to solve the problems. In this case, he is weak at analytical aspect at this moment but it does not represent in the future. Because of the anxiety disorder, he escapes from difficulties.
Creativity intelligence is relatively completely specific to a particular field. People are often creative in some areas, but not in others. Marcus is more outstanding in the creative aspect which ability to generate new ideas. He mainly focuses on Visual Arts, but his abilities are not limited to this. If he can develop other areas such as animations, advertising, design, he may have a great success in his future.
Practical intelligence involves people who applying their abilities to various problems encountered in their daily lives. Marcus has unrivaled self-care ability to take care of himself. He tries to reduce parents’ burden at home to show his ability can handle daily problems.
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Labeling theory suggests that labeling occurs when the behaviour of an individual is identified by another person as deviant or wrong (Becker, 1963; Hagan, 1973) Labelling can simply affect students by going through a circular process. (Yung, 1995)
Applying to Marcus, he thought the classmates are all better than him and could not be beyond the others with the pressures from teachers and parents. He labelled himself as a loser gradually. With strengthening this label description, the academic results are getting worse. He becomes low-esteem and reduces the motivation of learning. As a result, He has like the doctor said, anxiety disorder.
This circular is non-stopping which affects the performance and emotion of Marcus. After changing the school in lower banding, it is one of the methods can help him easier to reach the expectation from parents and build up confidence to get rid of the label “loser”.
According to Attribution Theory, the attribution influence including emotional reaction, interest, expectation and so on. (Bernald Weiner, 1986) Marcus’s emotional apprehension resulting in his avoiding behavior pattern, such as being late for handing in school work, do not pay attention in lesson. These make him have no expectation of success, but only disappointment of failure.
Obviously, Marcus is not interested in all subjects except Visual Arts and does not put effort on study. In this case, he has low self-efficacy with external locus of control attribute his failure to task difficulties and attribute his success to luck. Thus his performance is always uncontrollable and he is less motivated to work hard.
Marcus has done his best, but his parents are still not satisfied. He is depressed and does not try any harder, avoidance behavior appeared. In this case, the repeated failures make him feel helpless.
For helping Marcus, there are a few suggestions motivate him in learning. Intrinsic motivation to engage in a behavior arises from an individual, naturally satisfied. It occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We just enjoy an event or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn and realize our potential.
Extrinsic motivation occurs when we have the motivation to act or participate in an activity to get rewards or avoid punishment. In this case, the behavior you participate in is not because you like it, nor because you think it is satisfactory, but to get rewards or avoid unpleasant things.
At the beginning, the essential thing is to build up his confidence again. Teacher can try to encourage him more. He does not do well but finishing the tasks can also praise him. However this way is not sustainable. The external reinforcement or punishment is not always workable. To deeply improve Marcus’s motivation in learning, we need to change his motivation from extrinsic to intrinsic which associated with greater pleasure and happiness to help him reach stable performance. To enhance intrinsic motivation, it is important to arouse his interest and curiosity. For instance, many schools are developing the subject, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts) .Teacher can raise the awareness of him through these subjects. Learning science with arts, like designing the water rockets to learn the force theory in physics, drawing graphics for 3D printing and so on.
Peer tutoring is one of the effective methods. Peer tutoring can be scheduled in regular and supplementary classes, teachers can plan group works and activities. Many projects function on cross-ability basis, there are some advantages in same-ability peer tutoring. In this regard, the study buddies may only have a small portion of the lesson. Everyone has the same ability, they can strive to achieve and share with each other. The role in group should not be permanent, switching of roles creates greater originality and better self-esteem, all participants become a little teacher.
Out of the regular classes, teachers can invite some senior students as helpers to hold some activities cooperate with Visual Arts. For example, assigning students a task to design a building model which is about Visual Arts and test its endurance with wind power, earthquake, landslide, related to geography. This kind of activity may draw Marcus’s attention because he is interested in these creative works.
In conclusion, Marcus is a kind of SEN (Special Educational Needs) students and obviously less motivated in learning. The above theories and concepts can help him learn and assist teachers with improving his performance and emotions.
Clarke, A. M., ; Sternberg, R. J. (1986). Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence. British Journal of Educational Studies, 34(2), 205.
Hadadian, A., ; Koch, K. R. (2014). Issues in Labeling Young Children with Developmental Delay: Whose Responsibility is It? International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 5(8646).
Sternberg, R. J. (1981). The evolution of theories of intelligence. Intelligence, 5(3), 209-230.