"Vischeck is a way of showing you what things look like to someone who is color blind. You can try Vischeck online- either run Vischeck on your own image files or run Vischeck on a web page. You can also download programs to let you run it on your own computer" (What is it, ¶1, 2014.03.28).
Learned helplessness results from experiencing uncontrollable events that cause individuals to expect future lack of control. It is characterized by decreased motivation, failure to learn, and negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and frustration.
Learned helplessness is formally defined as a disruption in motivation, affect, and learning following exposure to noncontingent (uncontrollable) outcomes. There are three crucial elements to its definition: contingency, cognition, and behavior.
Children who display learned helpless versus mastery oriented patterns perform equally well prior to encountering failure, but those who are mastery oriented show superior performance following a failure experience.
There is some evidence that the learned helpless and mastery oriented patterns are socialized by parents.
Effort attribution feedback is likely most successful in the early stages of learning and for difficult tasks, when greater effort can produce better results and its credibility is high. However, Dale Schunk has found that ability feedback (e.g., “You're good at this”) given when children succeeded early in the course of learning enhanced achievement better than effort feedback.
(Implications of learned helpless for educators, ¶1)
Although feedback that focuses on controllable attributions (e.g., effort, strategy use) is widely recommended, research suggests that focusing students' attention on the goal of learning rather than on showing how well they can perform has beneficial effects in combating helplessness.
(Implications of learned helpless for educators, ¶2)
In an educational setting, students may feel that any effort is fruitless, as they do not understand the content, and so refuse to make any effort whatsoever. Learned helplessness may also result from low expectations of students, and students not being held accountable in the classroom to engage in academic tasks or activities.
When everyone is seen as a learner with diverse skills, strengths and areas of need, students are more likely to thrive and attempt to progress.
Students can and should also clarify directions and instructions with their peers. This is becoming increasingly important as we ask students to read and access more complex text, and as students are asked to complete more complex tasks, having a finished product is helpful for students, as well as a rubric or clear evaluation criteria.
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