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12. “Regression” is necessary for growth.

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1 12. “Regression” is necessary for growth. on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:51 pm

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12. “Regression” is necessary for growth.

Although this may be counterintuitive, regression is actually a fundamental part of of cognitive growth. Human brains grow in cycles of development, just as every other organic on the planet. When each cycle completes, our potential for more complex cognition jumps up for a short period of time — but during the next cycle of development, our potential actually drops down for a significant portion of the cycle of development. Because regression happen in all of us, at completely different times, and it definitely affects our cognitive potential every time it happens, this phenomenon trumps pedagogical assessment in unpredictable ways, rendering much of the typical classroom assessment schemes questionable. How can you tell if a new pedagogy that you are testing on students works well enough if one third of the class is performing lower than their peak potential? More importantly, students (and teachers) should not be reprimanded or punished for showing regression.

Q. Are your students and/or you reprimanded for short term 'falling grades' or falling performance? Why is this so? What should you do about this?

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2 Regressions and Rants on Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:21 am

Reprimanded may be a strong word, especially in the case of my university, but not accounting for regressions in cognition could be unfair in terms of classroom arrangement in my teaching context.

To start the year, our students take an English test which streams them into different levels of English classes for the year.  If the students are in a mental space that is not operating at their fullest cognitive potential during test day, they may find themselves in a class streamed with students who are mostly below their level.  Personally, I am against this kind of streaming for reasons beyond lapses of cognition.  Our students are close enough in level to not require this streaming. I think we are unnecessarily labeling some of our students as more intelligent than others which could be very demotivating for the lower level students. In addition, we make the higher level students work harder for the same grade, the same credits, identified as the same class on their records. (end rant).

However, throughout the semester we have a range of different assessments which may be forgiving for periods of 'regression'.  I wouldn't know for sure as I do not know what the time period are for the fluctuation in cognitive growth.  How long do regressions usually last?  Why is this an inherent part of the learning process?  Is it, in some ways, similar to how rest helps build muscles, and sleep is an opportunity for growth?  

As you can see, trying to answer this question has only raised more questions for me.  Any responses or feedback would be great!

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Hi there!  Very Happy 

I only got to talk about micro-development at FAB5 in passing. Ideally I'd like to do a whole session on it. 

Here is a great paper co-authored by Kurt Fischer. It's (only) 17 pages, and very well worth the read. Fascinating stuff!! This will answers a lot of your questions, and may help you think of some more!  Cool 

https://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ddl/articlesCopy/AlwaysUnderConstructnHumDev.0402.pdf

Enjoy!
Robert

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Uh oh... The article is not opening for me for some reason... Sad

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Ouch, Harvard started up their new website so all the old links are gone...Shocked

I'll see if I can get ahold of them elsewhere.
Robert

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