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Teachers, parents can motivate students to revise

EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY with EPHAT MUDENDA
WILLIAM Shakespeare, an English poet, playwright, and actor, once said that “doubts are traitors” which hold some people back from fulfilling their potential. This saying still applies today in many areas of life, including among young people at school.
Some of those who are preparing for their exams at the end of the year are doubting as to whether they have really studied enough for them to pass with flying colours. This is understandable because everyone has moments of self-doubt.
However, teachers, parents and guardians have a very important role to play in motivating learners to do revision and help them better their results. Thus, with proper motivation, especially at a time like this when the grade sevens, nines and 12s are about to write their exams, a student who might have got a ‘fail’ may end up obtaining a very good grade.
In fact, revising what has been learned during a given period of time to help students examine their deeper understanding of important aspects of their course is a very important step in the learning process for all learners in every academic set-up. If, as adults, we normally evaluate what we know, what’s more with children who are about to sit the exams!
It is true that revision time can be challenging because it often requires learners to monitor their own behaviour even while studying independently at home. But subjecting them to academic activities that help improve their memory, mood and concentration entails equipping them to meet different changes, including examinations, head-on.
Several ways can be employed to deal with revision exercises, but only hard work, good planning and starting early will surely maximise students’ chances to succeed. Helping students to make a solid revision plan is the first and most basic step. It is believed that those who have a working style, which is based on breaking down workloads into small, manageable parts, have a great chance of attaining high marks in the exam.
Parents and teachers will do well to let children revise with their classmates and friends. This is because explaining concepts to one another is one of the best ways to fully understand a complicated subject or topic. As learners ‘teach’ each other, their memories are sharpened. The exercise itself requires one to learn and organise one’s knowledge in a clear and well-structured manner.
Every exam candidate should have a good knowledge of how examiners set questions. This is possible when learners have access to past examination papers and other related materials. Teachers should be able to not only make these available to their students, but also directly engage in discussions with them, bringing out model answers to show exactly what the examiners require of them. It is through such activities that students get to know how much work they really need to do.
Dr Rosemary Stevenson, a researcher in learning at Durham University in England, says: “Motivation is at the root of learning. That is why some people find it easier to learn than others…” One way of motivating learners, therefore, is to train them to be well organised right from a very young age. In a season like the current one, particularly for the grade sevens, nines and 12s, this important skill, if mastered, actually serves as the best defence against a panic attack during an exam.
Parents, guardians and teachers must be supportive and ensure that during these few weeks or days before the beginning of the exams, they must do everything to help the young people feel relaxed. This way, though they are fully aware that they have now reached make-or-break moment for their final exams, children at least can consciously make a resolve to strive for the best results because, to them, this is the most important thing at the moment.
Having students revise their learning serves as a bridge between acquiring new knowledge and preparing them for more complex tasks ahead.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm or ephatm@yahoo.com

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