Productive Struggle

One of the most challenging situations parents are facing with online learning is how much help to offer their children.  Parents and guardians are scrambling to balance work, support learning from home, and maintain some semblance for a healthy household. Understandably, providing the answer or a strong hint of how to solve the problem is a natural caregiver’s response.  Gerry Brooks is an administrator out of Kentucky who is well-known for his videos that bring humor to day-to-day teaching challenges. This particular video, while meant in jest, reveals the struggle parents are facing.  

Productive struggle is a phrase referenced to encourage meaningful and sustainable learning.  It is a process of allowing enough wait time for scholars to work through increasingly difficult problems they have never encountered.  This engagement strategy helps children of all ages develop grit and creative problem solving.  It also supports their ability to increase a growth mindset.  

When scholars are seeking help, it is imperative they are allowed opportunities to reflect on what they know and how it applies to what they are learning. Giving them freedom to fail is also fostering the freedom to succeed.  Gem Prep encourages you to help your child(ren) experience productive struggle to enhance the learning experience at home.  We appreciate all you are doing to support your scholar(s). 

Nanette Lehman – Merrill, GPMN Principal

 Encourage kids to engage in productive struggle by giving them difficult assignments and praising them for their persistence. Research shows that when students solve problems that are challenging, but still within their abilities, they deepen their learning. Allow students to wrestle with problems before intervening. Lee,L. (April 3, 2020). 7 Guiding Principles for Parents Teaching From Home. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/7-guiding-principles-parents-teaching-home#:~:text=Encourage%20Productive%20Struggle,abilities%2C%20they%20deepen%20their%20learning