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Patrick Andrews

The puzzle of struggling students shunning help

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As a tutor, I am conscious of the need to support all students.  Some students are very strong and it is an important part of the role to try to challenge them to do even better work and such students generally welcome the challenge.  Most students who are quite strong also welcome  support and challenge to help them develop even more.  There are strangely mixed attitudes amongst some students who are struggling with courses.

The Open University encourages tutors to offer special sessions to support students with additional needs and those who are struggling.  Most students in these situations are very keen to accept and make use of such support.  There are often very positive outcomes - perhaps due to the support or due to increased motivation or improved morale from knowing their studies are viewed as important. 

However, I sometimes experience the cases of students who shun the opportunity for such support.  I wonder why this is and can think of several possible reasons.  Perhaps they have a feeling that everything can be different and they want to maintain control over improvement.  Another possibiity is that they hope some magical transformation will take place (perhaps like someone with a worrying medical symptom might hope it just disappears of its own accord).

I would be interested in any other views.

Permalink 21 comments (latest comment by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 17:09)
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