Getting It

It’s amazing how many people – often those who will happily spend hours rehearsing stunts with a football or the intricacies of a computer game – assume after a couple of minutes that they can’t answer a question in school.

Claiming “I don’t get it.” is rarely helpful. It’s hard to type this without it sounding like a pep talk, but some concepts are difficult for everyone. The question isn’t about whether you’re good at something or not, it’s more complicated than that. People’s intelligence isn’t a fixed quantity. We all learn things, all the time. Having a different approach can make a big difference, to your understanding and to your achievement. What you want is what’s been described as a ‘growth mindset‘.

So instead of claiming that you don’t ‘get’ something, try a few things out. This is not about getting it magically. You still might not understand it. But by going through this process, you’ll understand better what is causing the problem, and hopefully be able to seek more useful help or advice.

Brain/Book/Buddy/Boss

You might want to swap around the order of Buddy and Book – although there’s a big difference between asking for help and copying someone else’s answers. But this way by the time you ask a teacher for support, you’ll be able to tell them what you’ve tried. You might have narrowed down the problem a little. This might depend on the subject – maths problems can affect how you approach a science problem, or the use of words in sources makes history difficult. Once you start to recognise what is causing you to find it difficult, you can address it. Learning is about making progress in steps, not about having a flash of inspiration.

How about adding some prompts in the comments below? What tactics help you to figure out a question? Do you refer to a subject glossary,  highlight question words or something completely different?

 

 

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