The process of learning has generally been understood as the process through which individuals go in acquiring their knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, beliefs, emotions and senses. The process requires the existence of certain knowledge and skills to develop them in the course of studies and ensures this development. The success of the process depends on the effective collaboration of its participants and a number of external factors. Collaboration between the student and the teacher is based basically on the teacher’s enhancement of the student’s strengths and flattening his or her weaknesses.
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I strongly believe that the more professionally the teacher uncovers the student’s strengths and relies on them in the teaching process the more effective the learning appears to be. The current paper is concerned with the investigation of one student’s personal strengths and weaknesses and their importance for the learning process.
Peter is a college student who does not seem to be very responsible as far as his studies are concerned. The student is rather inquisitive when it comes to aerodynamics. He is interested in everything that is this way or another connected to this sphere, whereas he does not pay the needed attention to the subjects studied at college. I suppose that if the student is interested in some sphere it is possible to expand this interest to others areas.
One of the teacher’s tasks of primary importance is to relate the materials studied to the sphere the student is interested in. Peter, from his side, can find any possible interrelation between the new materials he is taught and the knowledge on aerodynamics he has. This implies preparing various reports that can unite several topics including aerodynamics.
Another Peter’s strength that needs to be developed is his excellent memory. Out of all memory types, the student’s visual memory is developed most of all. He easily remembers the material presented by means of visual aids, working with such students requires from teachers special consideration of the way the materials are presented. The teacher’s task is to develop other types of the student’s memory and to teach him how to make use of them. Peter himself should understand that acquiring new knowledge is not a vain occupation but one that will bring fruitful results in the nearest future.
For this purpose, some shifts in the student’s understanding of the learning process should be made. As Peter is an easy-going person not deprived of a sound sense of humour he is apt to participate in various extra-curriculum activities. Through preparing for various festivities the student will realize that education does not merely imply rote-learning but presupposes a set of activities aimed at the formation of the students’ community and strengthening the ties between its members.
What also needs development is the student’s aspiration for reasonable competitiveness. Since the time when Peter was a Capitan of a football team, he has never lost his desire to win in everything. This aspiration may benefit significantly the learning process if appropriately handled by the teachers. Organizing different competitions related to the materials the students acquire teachers can evoke with the student his never-ending desire to win, which can contribute to his personal and professional development.
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The student’s leadership qualities should also be enhanced. As Peter once was the Capitan he knows what it means to be responsible for the quality of this or that result one strives for and knows how this result can be achieved. A real leader knows how to organize one’s own work and how to encourage others to do the same. More characteristics that make Peter a leader are: good communication skills, visionary outlook, action instead of mere saying, consistency and ability to stand against critics. All these qualities can be relied on in the education process.
Good communication skills help Peter to get more and more information in terms of this or that subject. Through communication, the student does not only become more educated by himself but shares one’s knowledge and experience with others that are rather important in teamwork.
A visionary outlook is important as it helps Peter to clearly realize the perspectives of his learning. He can objectively evaluate what he already knows, what he is expected to know and what steps he needs to undertake to meet the requirements set. People who have a visionary outlook can clearly see their strengths and weaknesses and know how to make use of them to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Another strength of Peter’s character is his keeping to his words. If he plans something, promises to do something, encourages others to act somehow, he does not merely speak but demonstrates this. For him, action speaks louder than words. It is very important in any community and in the students’ one especially.
Consistency is one of the main factors of any student’s success. Consistency is helpful when acquiring new knowledge as well as in presenting it. Consistent people seem to be more reliable and gain more esteem from the public.
Peter’s ability to stand critics is also of much importance for his professional success. When the person can realize one’s mistakes he clearly sees their nature and is less likely to repeat them in future. Teachers know about Peter’s quality and try to clearly explain to him in what aspect he was not right so that he never triggers a backlash. Moreover, Peter is able to criticize others so that they see their drawbacks and are inspired to get rid of them.
As for Peter’s weaknesses, like any other human being, he has them. Sometimes Peter lacks honesty when communicating with others. This often reveals when the student plays truant or does not come prepared for the seminars. It is obvious that this trait comes from early childhood and it is rather difficult to influence it this way or another. But regarding the fact that students are rather, flexible creatures teachers can select certain activities that will enhance students’ understanding of eternal values among which truthfulness is one of the most treacherous.
Another Peter’s weakness is that he appears to be rather lazy in various situations. When some activity during the class requires much assiduity from him, he seeks all possible ways of how to avoid it. Being a capable student he does not want to follow the teacher’s instructions if they require much effort from him.
Often during the classes, the student is dreamy and distracted. He cannot concentrate on the work and thinks only of having fun with his friends. When the teacher asks to repeat this or that issue he/she has just talked about the student manages to do it but does not cover the problem in its complexity and diversity of the aspects it has been discussed. This happens because Peter finds little subjects at college he can really become involved in. Thus, the teacher’s task is to make the learning process as much interesting for him as possible. Moreover, the activities the teachers offer the students should be rather challenging as Peter likes to find something new while struggling with difficulties that he comes across.
The teaching staff should evoke in the student the burning desire to know through appealing to his strengths and reducing the harmful effects of his weaknesses. Allowing Peter to demonstrate his leadership qualities the teachers will help him to remember his years in the football team and the results he achieved as a Capitan. I believe that the parallel between sports and education that the teachers should draw will be of great importance for his educational growth.
Moreover, Peter’s individual work in case of correct organization will also be fruitful. But there should be someone who is able to encourage him to understand the positive effects on education that individual work can bring.
Peter’s strengths and weaknesses considered I conclude that, on the one hand, he is a rather extraordinary young man with his personal aspirations and the instruments to realize his ambitions. On the other hand, I do realize that he shares the most common problems for college students: lack of interest in the subjects studied and unwillingness to understand the importance of learning in one’s life. Both his own efforts and the teachers’ ones are required to benefit from the strengths and to overcome the weaknesses he has. I believe that one day Peter will feel thankful to studying at the college he was once involved in.