I found this story of Self-Regulation in the news and I find it fascinating. Don’t miss the link at the top left-hand of the page that opens up the documentary.
The article identifies Self-Regulation as a mode of Educational Philosophy and I like it. Ultimately, I think it’s simply one more step towards student-centered learning and, my favourite, empowerment to children. I think there are some interesting notes found though the article, such as found in this quote:
“There has been a growing body of work showing that when a child’s brain is overloaded, the thinking part of the brain shuts off. The more ancient part of the brain lights up, and the child moves into the more instinctual mode of fight-or-flight.”
There is an expansion upon this point in the accompanying audio documentary and interview. One of the remarks is that a student looses the ability to actually hear and comprehend human voices as stress is increased. The answer they suggest is to not yell at a kid, but to deescalate them. Help the kid find out what calms them down, facilitate an opportunity in them to do so such that they can get refocused, them teach them how to identify when they are becoming stressed out and unfocused and then take the initiative to deescalate themselves. However, the great struggle is that each kid is unique, so they much be uniquely taught to each one.
Another valuable remark in the article about students taking advantage of ear plugs because they are way too distracted by noise and I find it really valuable. I think it’s interesting to go into the library and see how many people are listening to music while studying, and I experiment with it myself. However, I have found over the years that, consistently, I am much more productive if I’m not listening to anything and am instead wearing ear plugs. Everyone is different, and different people function better in different environments. However, I often find myself wanting to listen to music because I am bored and not engaged with the material much more than seeking out music as a means to make me focus.
I’m curious, as successful academics, what do you do to stay focused and self-regulate?
Do you agree that this level of freedom should be granted to students?