Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Teaching teens

Kathie Nunley reports:
Students during early adolescence often struggle academically due to help avoidance and diminished interaction with the classroom teachers. Help avoidance varies for both gender and race. A recent study compared boys and girls of European American and African American race. All groups increased in help avoidance as they transitioned to middle school. European American girls were less likely to avoid help than E. A. boys. Researchers found no difference in help avoidance between genders of African American students.
Ryan, A. et al. (2009) Developmental Psychology. Vol 45(4), 1152-1163.

I believe this implies we teen teachers must be ready to make special efforts to offer help in as many ways as possible ("privately" as well as "publicly") and be particularly sensitive to requests for further support. Any delay or objection from us might be taken as a clear hint for help avoidance!

Do you think similar results would be obtained if researchers observed our classes?

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