Sunday, February 17, 2013


Week 5

Task 3

a. Choose one of the case studies below. Think about how the knowledge you have acquired so far about the brain and learning could help the teacher deal with the situation described in the case study you have chosen. Add your personal views to your portfolio.

Pedro has attended EFL classes since he was a kid. His native language is Portuguese. Pedro is a demonstrably clever thirteen-year-old boy who has the ability to use English fluently. However, in his EFL classes he misbehaves, disturbs his companions, insists on responding to his teacher in Portuguese, and is perpetually distracted and restless. His teacher calls his attention every single class with no effective result. Pedro almost never does homework, fails marginally at the end of the semester, is benefited by the bonus class opportunity, and ends up passing with a low final average. Pedro is infamous among the group of teachers in the institution.

Victoria has learning difficulties and copes with the problems connected to her parents, who are in the process of a tempestuous divorce. Her major difficulty lies in keeping a focus on the subject, but she really wants to learn. Her teacher sends her regularly to emergency help classes and she attends hopefully, but the results are less than their mutual desire. The teacher also contacts Victoria’s parents at predictable intervals, asking for their input and encouragement with regard to homework and study for tests. Victoria is afraid of her parents’ reaction to her low grades. She’s also afraid of being in the spotlight, so it’s hard to get her to participate in class.

My choice is the second case. Victoria's case really reminds me on a student we have in our school. She has the same problems in family, as well as in school. Her teachers have difficulties to deal with her behavior and her school inactivity. She comes to school less and less. Her main teacher tries to remedy the situation by contacting her parents. Mother doesn't care very much, she already has "a new life" and father does care, but has really low power control over her. Teacher has a lot of patience in work with her and gives her many extra lessons. Together they do it somehow, but not very successfully. The girl is very skilful and clever, but the problems come from her family, which teachers can hardly repair.

Suggestions from the article  Janet Zadina: A Teacher Goes Back to School are that we should adapt to that situation, request and expect less from that student, praise her more, have more understanding and compassion toward her situation.

Additional solution would be to activate classmates and develop their understanding of her situation and motivate them to help her in integrating her in school society by improving and intensifying their mutual relationship. 
Teachers may give her a chance to help others who have problems in the subjects which she excels in. Then she would feel that helping others has positive effect on herself as well.

She should be more school oriented - because there her peers could help her, and because in school surroundings she for sure has the power to influence and create her own success, than to unhappy family, where she doesn't have many means to change the situation and hence fail in everything.

She should somehow learn to attract attention on herself by doing something good for herself (and others!), not by escaping her own life, her peers, school, obligations, and by creating problems on each and every level. If she achieves this goal, she will soon be very mature person, capable of coping with real-life challenges.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how many Victorias are out there. Just like you, I chose her case because it feels very familiar. I agree with you when you say that school should become her focus and peers' help is an invaluable tool.
    Hope to see more of your posts in the future.