I hope we learn how to free ourselves from the hardwired approach to learning and try to see how there are at least two very large, wonderful environmental variables/tools which may help many students and adults. I hope we can learn to redefine our average stress in a very new way as many maintained layers of mental work from many areas of our past, present, future experiences, circumstances along with many weight and values developed which may maintain and attract other maintained mental conflicts. I feel all of us have very different amounts of maintained layers of essential and non-essential mental work which take up real mental energy leaving less mental energy to think and learn new mental work thereby forcing some students to work harder to learn information. I feel situational stress goes on top of these average layers. Try to visualize an upright rectangle representing a finite amount of mental energy for thinking and learning. Now draw in from the bottom, narrowly spaced, horizontal lines to represent many layers of mental work taking up real mental energy. This will leave more free space for some students in more stable environments and much less for students in more unstable environments. I feel many of those layers are still “non-essential and can be more permanently reduced. Relaxation will not work because afterwards, when we approach a new mental work, we turn on our mental faucet and recharge all of those layers. There is a second, large variable/tool involving dynamics of pace and intensity in approaching newer mental work. I feel for many students, higher layers of mental work or higher average stress feeds into improper pace and intensity in approaching new mental work. I feel the proper dynamics of approaching newer mental work needs to be taught to even very young students – understanding that as our pace and intensity in approaching a mental work exceeds our immediate knowledge and experience “or present mental frames for that area” we intensify our average stress and make it harder to learn. I feel such variables/tools and others are essential to free students and adults from the very harmful genetics models and provide hope for all students. I feel knowing these large environmental variables exist and are at work in our lives will also do a lot to raise the esteem and hope for many students and remove that god awful weight given by the myth they may feel somehow less able than others.
Dr. Heidi Andrade has a new book out titled Using Formative Assessment to Enhance Learning, Achievement, and Academic Self-Regulation . Written with the practical constraints of teaching in mind, it is a concise resource to help teachers maximize the impacts of classroom assessment on teaching, which can promote student learning and academic self-regulation. Assessments include diagnostic test items, co-created rubrics that guide student and peer feedback, and many others. The book explains how to use assessment to improve learning by linking learning theory to formative assessment processes.