Why do some students learn more than other students, and what is an educator to do? Why do some students learn more than other students, and what is an educator to do?

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marilynn07 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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What is an educator to do?  Celebrate the real challenge of teaching.  If all we needed to do in order to teach was to give a clear lecture, we wouldn't bother with schools.  TVs could educate our kids.  The real challenge of teaching is to understand each kid and try to meet their needs.

I understand that this is extremely difficult in very large classrooms.  All you can really do then is to present your lessons using a variety of teaching approaches so that you will reach every kid at least some of the time.  Those that consistently aren't responding will generally have some sort of...

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crystaltu001 | Student

Some students learn more than others because they tend to do more work and study more than the other students . But it all depends on the intelligence that the student is at. Some students tend to work harder than other students so that is why they learn more than others. 

chrisyhsun | Student

Personally, I feel that if a student is struggling the biggest reason rests with the student himself. Learning is a personal process and while it is true that different people learn differently and teachers should try to make sure everyone fully understands the information, the teacher has too many students to handle to be expected to devote his/her time to essentially tutoring one student.

Some reasons for the difference in apparent learning by different students:

  • Interest - I think everyone is like this in that we are more likely to pay attention to what actually interests us. Textbooks are nice, but in-class lectures go a long way towards understanding and being interested and engaged in class can dramatically help a student's performance in class.
  • Initiative - maybe the student doesn't like math. He knows it, his friends know it, his teachers learn it. However, if he has the determination to do well in school, he might just buckle down and learn the information anyway. He'll do all his homework, review his notes, go in and ask the teacher anything he doesn't understand. It doesn't necessarily take interest to learn a subject.
  • Other factors - different students come from different backgrounds and a lot of these can influence learning. Poor socioeconomic conditions could lead to financial worries that (in the short term at least) dominate over educational worries. If a student is spending 5 hours every night at a job, it can't be expected that he knows the information as well as the other kid in his class who studies for 5 hours every night. If a student comes from a family with strong educational values, he/she might have more incentive (more initiative too) to do well in school.

That being said, the educator can certainly play a role in influencing the first two factors. It might not be possible to change a student's situation, but making class more enjoyable could spark interest and push initiative so that the student begins performing better. While not necessarily "required" of all teachers, there's a lot to be said for a teacher who lets the student know he/she is always trying and always there for him. Educators can suggest extra practice, different approaches, and study techniques. Ultimately, though, change will be dictated by the student.

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arrellbelle | Student

Some students learn more than other students depending on what amount of intelligence they are at. Some students are just naturally gifted, other students might have to work a little harder. Some students also have different learning styles and the way you teach probably matches up with their styles of learning. As an educator, it is best that you try different teaching techniques that help those who fall under: auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners.

kc4u | Student

Let me begin with a similar question: why do some teachers teach better than other teachers? There are many reasons and it is very difficult to resolve. The question under scrutiny is also very difficult to answer.

We may consider some related questions:

1) Do all the students in a group come from a similar background? Do all of them enjoy the same quality/level of parental/familial support?

2) Is the group of learners a small or a large group?

3) Do all the students get equal attention from the educator?   The question is crucial if it is not a small group.

4) Do all the students maintain a reasonably & equally good standard of health(inclusive of mental health)?

Even if we can satisfactorily handle these questions, we may not ensure equality at the level of learning. The whole process of teaching & learning is so complex & multi-faceted that a uniformly satisfying standard is difficult to achieve.

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