Wendy Wang

Fairfax, VA, United States

About Wendy

Languages

Chinese, English, Spanish

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

207597
Wendy Wang
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we maintain passion for learning when emphasis placed on good grades detracts from our interest in gaining a deeper understanding?
Hi Laura, Thank you for your input - the way you run your classroom sounds great, and I admire you for taking that extra step to (and please correct me if I'm wrong) encourage students to apply what they've learned beyond a scantron or a test paper. :) I think the point you brought up on apathy is interesting. I don't know about the AP tests or the tests that you're talking about, but I know that I've seen instances where when a grade "doesn't count" or "is optional," most students would much rather not do it. It's so easy and so tempting to choose to only care about the things that "count," and when I say count, it doesn't necessarily mean it helps them learn; it only counts in the sense that it might show up as an attractive letter grade on a report card. One teacher started teaching at my school in 2011, I think. In his first year, according to one of the semester evaluations from his students, many of them wanted him to "lecture more." For them, lectures are just a more efficient way to consume more information in less time. I know some of his students, and from what I've heard about his classes, despite the fact that it challenges the students beyond what they might be used to, they all agree that they really *GOT* the information and understood its implications and connections. This year, he helped me to start a TED-based activity/club at our school. I have a lot of respect for teachers like those, and it sounds like you're one of them, too. So, Kudos to you! :)
207597
Wendy Wang
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we maintain passion for learning when emphasis placed on good grades detracts from our interest in gaining a deeper understanding?
I attend high school, one that places a lot of emphasis on STEM. The environment is incredibly competitive, and some students get bitter when others do better than them. I have never seen so much point-scavenging. Always looking for that extra point in some technicality or "unfair" grading on a test or an assignment, just so we can make the cut and change the grade from an A- to an A. If your GPA drops below a 3.0, you are kicked out.
207597
Wendy Wang
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we maintain passion for learning when emphasis placed on good grades detracts from our interest in gaining a deeper understanding?
Hey Greg, A passion for learning does lead to better grades and higher motivation to do well. But schools tend to place a whole lot more emphasis on getting those high marks than they do on attaining a passion for the topic at hand. After some time, it's very hard not to be influenced by this emphasis, and then we want to focus more on grades and less on loving what we learn and learning what we love. I know. I'm one of those students. But I consciously try and make an effort whenever I catch myself cramming or procrastinating or when I'm only aiming to make a superficial scratch on the surface of a bigger picture.
207597
Wendy Wang
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we maintain passion for learning when emphasis placed on good grades detracts from our interest in gaining a deeper understanding?
Hi Scott, You bring up a good point that school alone, whether we consider it effective or not, only makes for a part of life-preparation. School can teach the basic skills in most things, but it can't teach us the social aspect that makes life really worth living. I think that to have a true passion for anything, we have to start from the bottom, at the fundamental "base" - curiosity. Every person's interest is different, each to his or her own. Asking the students the right question can serve to fire that curiosity. Give them an open-ended question, or a topic, see the interest spark. Inquiry-based, in that sense. Finding what each person is innately passionate about. I think that requires for educators to get to know their students on a deeper, more personal level. It starts with a question, it goes on with problem-solving and collaboration and not being afraid to get their hands dirty. After drawing them in, students have to be engaged in order to maintain that momentum. Interaction with others who are just as passionate as they are does that, and this could mean students, this could mean that special teacher that just about radiates with passion for the topic at hand. Not the teachers that don't answer the questions of students just because "it's not going to be on the test, so don't worry about it."