Improvement as a Reader, Writer, and Student

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Improvement as a Reader, Writer, and Student

            Learning refers to the process of acquiring new information, knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, values, perspectives, skills, and preferences from various sources such as people, books, and through experiences in life. The evolution of human beings can be attributed to learning because it enabled them to adapt to different environments that they encountered in their daily lives. Absent learning, human beings could not have evolved to become what they are today. Accordingly, the ability to learn and retain new information is critical in ensuring that individuals can apply this knowledge in their lives to improve their status, position, and condition. Learning was construed previously to be a fixed and static phenomenon that was innate to an individual; people believed that education was dependent on an individual’s intelligence. The perception and belief that intelligence was related directly to education can be attributed to have led to some people with certain traits to be regarded as inadequate based on prevalent measurements of ideal aptitude.

The career choice I opted for required proficiency in a foreign language to which I chose Spanish; a subject that was extremely difficult for me to learn. However, my consistent focus and dedication to learning Spanish led me to take extra tuition and incessant practice, which resulted in my getting a distinction score in the final exams after the course. The course tutor was criticized for favoritism because of granting me a distinction yet I was a non-native speaker of Spanish unlike some of my other classmates, who were native to the language and got lower scores. This example illustrates the prevalent perception of learning and its enablers in the sense that fellow students based their criticism upon their belief that the ability to learn was innate and it could not be augmented by external forces such as effort and dedication. I can posit that my belief that inability was a challenge that could be overcome by further learning and experience played a significant role in developing my abilities in reading, writing, and status and role as a student.     

Today’s world is designed to benefit the most knowledgeable, skilled, and learned; attributes that are conferred onto people through an organized process of transmitting these attributes from one generation to another. The education system is used today to transmit qualities that are meant to improve individuals’ chances of progress and survival. Continued education can be construed to have contributed to the belief that learning ability was innate and of static quantity. However, recent research studies by scholars such as Carol Dweck and Emily Hanford established that the effort put in by an individual in acquiring new knowledge, skills, and information played an extremely vital role in learning (Dweck 117). These assertions were made against the prevalent notion that learning was dependent upon an individual’s mental acuity and intelligence. Compared to intelligence, hard work or effort put into an activity was established to be more important than an individual’s perceived or measured learning ability. The appreciation of the contributions made by intelligence and effort in learning is an approach that has the potential to improve and advance people’s lives in their daily lives.

The reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book titled “Between the World and Me” offers a father’s perspective on the issue of race in the US in a manner that can be regarded as awakening and insightful (Hanford). The diversity witnessed in American society today regarding race, religion, political ideology, and socioeconomic status means that there must be a presence of biases and prejudices (Alexander). The fact that I excelled in the Spanish language against many people’s expectations because I was not a native speaker can be construed by racial or ethnic prejudice. As an individual who believes in the need for challenges in life to facilitate growth and progress, I welcomed people’s criticism as a challenge that I needed to overcome. According to Emily Hanford, an individual’s learning ability is not only determined by their innate learning capacity and mental aptitude or intelligence, but it was also determined to a large extent by the amount of effort input into learning.

The issue of prejudice, with respect to how some people experiencing learning disabilities are regarded as inferior and not deserving can also be introduced. Prejudice emanates from people’s static belief system that attributes effective learning to gifts from nature or talents, which acts as a factor that contributes to whether students excel or fail in their studies and as students. Carol Dweck (115) states that people who believed learning ability or intelligence was an innate ability possessed as fixed intelligence, while those that relied on facing challenges to improve their position as growth-minded (Dweck 113). The readings encountered in this course provide a lot of vital insights into the nature of learning and the significance of various factors that impact the process adversely or promote its excellence. Perceptions and the resultant attitudes regarding learning play a critical role in the outcomes of education and the subsequent progress of the individual.

Works Cited

Alexander, Michelle. “Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me.’.” New York Times, 17 Aug. 2015, Accessed 24 May. 2018.

Dweck, Carol S. “Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn.” Independent School, vol. 67, no. 2, 2008, pp. 110-119.

Hanford, Emily. “Angela Duckworth and the Research on ‘Grit’.” American Public Media, 2012, Accessed 24 May. 2018

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