In this episode, I share the idea of productive struggle and its significance in education. Productive struggle is all about allowing students to tackle challenging tasks with limited adult intervention, enabling them to develop problem-solving skills, build confidence, and cultivate critical thinking abilities. Throughout the episode, I highlight the common tendency for both new and veteran teachers to provide answers too quickly, teaching them that if they wait long enough they don’t have to do the work.
I discuss the importance of embracing productive struggle to improve student outcomes. As educators, it is crucial to reflect on our teaching practices and resist the urge to rescue students too quickly. Instead, we must cultivate an environment that values effort, provides specific feedback, and encourages a growth mindset. Through productive struggle, we empower students to overcome challenges, become active participants in their learning journey, and develop a lifelong love for learning.
In this episode about productive struggle, I share:
- Productive struggle allows students to develop problem-solving skills, build confidence, and think deeply about tasks.
- Teachers should avoid jumping in too quickly to provide answers and instead guide students through questioning and partial support.
- Students need to understand that failure is part of the learning process and that they need to practice and work through difficulties.
- Specific feedback, not providing answers, helps students assess and improve their strategies and understanding.
- Celebrating effort, encouraging a growth mindset, and creating a safe environment for making mistakes are crucial for promoting productive struggle.
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Resources mentioned in the episode:
Be sure to join the Secondary ELA Facebook group where we will be continuing the conversation around the idea of productive struggle.