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Is persistence taught or caught? : Two contrasting case studies in the context of first year university teaching
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Helen HuntlyHelen Huntly, Jennifer DonovanJennifer Donovan
This paper examines contrasting case studies involving two tutors of first year students enrolled in an undergraduate education program at an Australian University. Both tutors were given the same brief of designing a semester-long course that would foster the development of the habit of mind of persistence in their students. The two tutors went about it within different content areas and chose different approaches. Both worked within the principles of good practice to select their teaching strategies, but one explicitly taught her students about the habits of mind in general and persistence specifically, whereas the other did not mention it at all. Both sought to model the habit for their students, though the tutor who did not explicitly mention it to her class was more deliberate about the modeling. Given that the two courses were different it is not possible to compare student results to see if one approach worked better than the other. However, in both cases, the tutors felt that the students had demonstrated more persistence than previous groups they had taught. The tutors also commented that they had personally learned a lot from engaging with this specific focus and would seek to continue to incorporate it into their teaching and learning plans.