In a piece for the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), aha! Process President and Founder, Dr. Ruby Payne, questions, “Are you helping or hurting your students?”

When is helping beneficial? Dr. Payne suggests that, although scenarios differ, the following principles are important to consider:

  • Learning is social
  • Learning occurs in context
  • Learning requires support

What about failure? When should you let students struggle? Perhaps no question is more difficult to answer in today’s education system. Per Dr. Payne, “Research indicates that failure can promote long-term success if the student has supportive adults and options to try again… True success comes from discipline and persistence, even in the face of obstacles and failure.”

Lastly, Payne believes that the the relationship between support, insistence and high expectations must be rethought. To date, we’ve treated these ideas as if they resided on a sliding scale. The more we give of one, the less we give of the other. “We need to provide a synergistic combination of support, insistence and high expectations.”

See the full article here.

This article was used with permission and was originally published in the March 2014 issue of AMLE Magazine  (