Sometimes I think we neglect the impact anxiety and fear has on our students. With the sudden interest everyone seems to have in cognitive psychology (usually referred to as ‘cognitive science’ by the political elite*) there is, quite rightly, a growing fascination with how we can help learners to recall all the information we’ve been filling their heads with.
…but what use are these strategies if our students are so terrified of failing that they can barely recall their names (let alone the components of the working memory model – I know, ironic isn’t it)?
Alright, I’m being melodramatic.
…or am I?
Consider the following quote from the book ‘everyone is talking about’):
A fear of failure can poison learning by creating aversions to the kinds of experimentation and risk taking that characterize striving, or by diminishing performance under pressure, as in a test setting. In the latter instance, students…
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