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Provoking Learning in Students at European International School Ho Chi Minh City

Last Monday, the Primary and Early Years teachers at European International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS) explored how we can use provocations and invitations to help our students become emotionally connected to the ideas and concepts that they are learning in school.

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provoking learning

Provocations are often used to create a strong emotional reaction. By doing this, students may feel excited, angry, amazed or frustrated. These strong emotions create a burning desire to create, understand and take action.

One might wonder why experiencing such strong emotions would contribute to students’ learning. Emotions are often reactions to events happening to and around us. It demonstrates our connection to the world beyond ourselves.

provoking learning
Emotions are often reactions to events happening to and around us. It demonstrates our connection to the world beyond ourselves.

 

By inducing strong emotions, we can create a strong connection and drive to understand. When we develop this emotional investment, students take the initiative to engage in the ideas and explore them more deeply. They are open to discovering what they do not yet know and become responsible for conducting their own learning. It is not likely a surprise to many that we are more motivated to learn more about topics and ideas that we care about.

Some of our best learning comes from frustration, mistakes and failures. This often strikes students as a surprise as they have been led to believe that they must always get the “right” answers. In fact, all learning takes place in the space where we do not yet know or understand. Think of a scientist. As a profession, the job is to fail. Scientists fail repeatedly until they discover the answer to their question. It is through failure that they learn what is incorrect and what is correct. By asking our students to be frustrated as they sort through complex ideas and potentially fail, we are asking them to learn. In addition, by having a problem to solve, students are given a purpose for their learning. This in turn creates value for them in their learning.

provoking

 

EIS is an IB World School, offering three IB curriculum programmes (Primary Years Programme - PYP, Middle Years Programme - MYP and Diploma Programme - DP). Philosophically, the School believes in the importance of creating a safe learning environment where students enjoy learning and do not fear failure. We are constantly encouraging our children to push themselves, take risks and try new things to exceed learning outcomes. We emphasize the importance of learning to collaborate, caring for others, asking great questions, researching thoroughly and reflecting on personal actions. In short, we develop young people who are truly resilient, independent learners.

Mr. Colin Attwood - PYP Coordinator