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Productive Struggle (July 23, 2022)

Updated: Sep 3, 2022


This week, I mentioned to my class that they should find "productive struggle." Teachers will recognize this concept, if not also the term. It is the idea that growth comes from working outside your comfort zone. If I ask you to find a little discomfort and to play with something that might take a few tries, that's productive. If I ask you to build a working airplane from some scraps of metal, that's not productive. Likewise, if I ask my 4th grade students to make a Spanish verb agree with the personal pronoun "you," that's productive. If I ask them to write a paper in Spanish on the current political state, that's not productive. The growth comes from engaging in a challenge that is new - and maybe even a little scary - but within your capabilities.

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