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What are classes would you offer to today's students to help improve their education?

What classes would you add a options to all students to help them learn?

I came up with a few:

1) Reasoning- Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason)

2) Learning-Learning is acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning)

3) Critical thinking-Critical thinking is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking)

4) Active Listening- Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to feed back what they hear to the speaker, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening)

5) Study skills-Study skills or study strategies are approaches applied to learning. They are generally critical to success in school, considered essential for acquiring good grades, and useful for learning throughout one's life. There are an array of study skills, which may tackle the process of organizing and taking in new information, retaining information, or dealing with assessments. They include mnemonics, which aid the retention of lists of information, effective reading, and concentration techniques, as well as efficient note taking. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studying)

I provided wiki links for further explanation.

What are yours?

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  • Aug 8 2013: Thanks Robert, the fact that you care about these things means the young people around you are very lucky. When I was growing up I had a number of learning barriers to overcome, which came from my childhood and from a medical condition. It meant that I had great difficulty reading and remembering, and had very little confidence in myself. I thought that I was a fake and that people would eventually find out how stupid I really was. Meanwhile my father was extremely bright and that made things worse. Mr. Clark showed me that I had lots of potential, but that I would have to work first to discover how best I learned and then apply that to every learning situation I was in. It has been quite a journey, but worth every minute.

    From this lesson I learned that most students DO want to participate, but first you must get them to stop being afraid to expose their thoughts to others. My college students are free to ask me any (relevant) question, and sometimes I have to think about the answer--sometimes I actually don't know. But I have learned to say 'wonderful question, give me a minute to go to the board and figure it out' (or I'll find out & let you know--and I always do). So my students know I am not afraid to make a mistake or have to think about an answer, or even just not know--so they aren't either.

    Also I reward hard work and effort as being just as important as being 'clever'. I had a student this summer who certainly wasn't my best reading student and she knew it. I didn't let her lack of confidence get in the way and rewarded every single effort she made. Pretty soon she was getting the highest marks in the class and beaming with pride. She took my feedback and turned it into progress. I didn't GIVE her anything--she earned every mark w/ her hard work.

    I got to where I am by sheer hard work and a lot of mistakes. But, I don't want my students do feel alone as I did, so I never let them accept failure if they are willing to try...

    Keep exploring...

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