ACHIEVING THE OPTIMAL LEARNING STATE: THE COURSE THEY FORGOT TO TEACH AT SCHOOL
FH Hannover (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:It is impossible to teach students all the knowledge they will need for their future career. Due to decreasing „half-life of knowledge“ lifelong learning is getting more and more important. Students must learn Learning itself: Evaluating their own learning style, their successes and failures and adjusting their thinking and behavioral patterns accordingly. Nowadays students (well-behaved!) do all they are told to work on, but they are less and less taking responsibility for their own learning process. They don't reflect on situations where they missed a goal, where they did not manage to learn or understand a certain subject adequately. Then, most of them (instead of adjusting & changing their corresponding learning strategy) are desperately trying more of the same. Hypnotized by the urgency of the constantly increasing amount of compulsory tasks and exams they lose sight of their original goal: Making a career in a profession that was not only highly attractive to them but also matched their inclinations so strongly that they enrolled in that major. Instead of focusing on their development towards that career-goal they more and more solely react heteronomously to the external pressure put on them. That's not supportive in order to learn highly motivated or to develop brilliant new ideas or solutions.
In all of us still resides (in stand-by-mode) that „learning-genius‟ that in our youth learned a complex language “along the way” without even being aware that there existed such things like complex grammar rules. What happened to that (all of us humans naturally inherent) urge to constantly learn and search for new knowledge, to experiment with it in all imaginable different ways? Highly motivated, excited, playfully. In most of us it got stifled during schooldays. It obviously doesn‟t recover just by itself during the study at university. Despite the fact that here that one subject that really fascinates us has become centre of learning. All problems are caused by the way students judge a certain task in comparison to their capability to deal with it. Becoming aware of their (unconscious) attitude can be a first step to new empowerment. It is possible to change old thinking and behavioral patterns in a way that leads to greater self-awareness and freedom. There is always the choice to change the view of how a situation is perceived and judged. This opens up a whole new range of options and possibilities.
Coaching was originally developed for athletes. It doesn't solely concentrate on professional knowledge and appropriate operational competencies. It also supports and empowers by the help of mental exercise. Coachees learn to observe, evaluate and correct their practical competences as well as their mental attitude. They're taught to find suitable options and improvements that match their personal talents and inclinations. Meanwhile coaching-methods have been adapted for other clientele. There exists a set of standard coaching-techniques that could be trained in university programs in the same way as other social skills. Students could be trained to observe and adjust their own thinking and behavioral patterns, their self-conception and ineffective learning-strategies that got habitual during schooldays. How to utilize personal strengths, talents, inclinations and how to discover an own authentic way of learning in harmony with their potential and dreams, finding a suitable way to a successful and fulfilling professional career.
Keywords: Student success coaching, self-coaching skills taught at university, lifelong learning.