Learned helplessness

speciallyteaching

Someone else blogged on this recently, but I can’t remember who, please contact me and I’ll add a link if it was you.

The pupils that I teach are very special. They wouldn’t be at a school for sld pupils if they weren’t! They will go through life with a responsible adult always within shouting distance, and as a result learn to depend on those adults for everything, even things that they can do for themselves. This leads to a learned helplessness, where pupils won’t even try.

I try to run an independent classroom. Pupils are expected to do all of their self-help (dressing for swimming, ordering drinks in a cafe for instance) alone, or with verbal prompts if needed. I expect them to ask for help, they are all able to do this. When we are writing, I would like them to ‘write’ independently first, with staff then annotating…

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