Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stress on Students

Clark, Claire H., David C. Spendlove, and Neal A. Whitman. “How Does Learning Affect Stress?” Increasing Students' Learning” A Faculty Guide to Reducing Stress Among Students. Washington D.C.: ASHE, 1986, pg.9-16.


This chapter focuses on the importance of understanding “...what stress is and how it affects learning.” (9) Stress can manifest itself I many different forms depending upon the person. It is important to understand these forms so that you can tell if a person is acting a certain way due to stress. Overall, stress is defined as “...person-environment model...”, meaning that there is a clash between the person and his or her environment. (11) It is also important to recognize that “a situation that is stressful for one person might not be stressful for another.” (11) This is highly determined by the “meaning” given to the environment and situation that is occurring within that environment. Thus, it is important that people have the skills to deal with their stressors so that they do not become “destructive”. Teachers have help students deal with their respective stressors by providing them with specific “...information, feedback, and control.”(15) In other words, allowing students to know what is expected of them in advance so they do not feel the pressure of time and providing them with specific feedback on their work that explicitly states what they need to do in order to improve.

This chapter made me rethink how I view the actions of students within my classroom. Many times, I do not attribute stress as a reason for the way a student is acting. Also, it made me realize that there are little things I can do in order to help lessen the stress of my students such as give them a reasonable timeline for work completion and not assigning work at the beginning of the period that is due at the end without forewarning.


-“An individual might acknowledge experiencing stress but have any number of reactions to it- anger, fatigue, anxiety, fear, depression, or boredom.” (10)

-“Recognizing and understanding students' reactions to stress will help faculty not take personally what is often self-defeating behavior on the part of the students.” (16)

-“Information, feedback, and control are vital in reducing destructive forms of stress (Seligman 1975) that lead to an intense sense of helplessness and failure.” (15)

-“Students must have explicit information about what is expected of them and receive relevant feedback about performance so that they can control their learning experience to improve performance.” (15)

No comments:

Post a Comment