Tutor profile: James P.
Why do many students dislike writing assignments and what can be done to change the negative attitude toward these assignments?
Writing assignments, often thought of as the bane of a student's existence, require a dedicated, thoughtful process that is often misunderstood by students. A ballet student must perform repetitious exercises in order to perform a graceful, elegant dance; a sports team player must attend daily practices and perform repeated drills to hone skills required to win; a teacher must accumulate knowledge and technique to gain certification and educate young minds. Writing, a crafted skill, takes much time and effort in order to reach a level of expertise. Like the artist who uses individual brushstrokes to create a complete portrait on canvas, so too can we apply technique and skill in crafting a masterpiece with words, but it takes time and dedicated effort, often with the assistance and guidance of one who has mastered the craft. Understanding the process of writing--idea brainstorming, research, recording thoughts and feelings and pieces of knowledge, rough drafting, re-drafting, polishing and finishing--will better lead to the writer patiently pursuing the process. To use a karate analogy, we start out as "white belts" and want to quickly achieve the coveted black belt; however, true, traditional training over a long period of time is required to achieve the knowledge and skill required to become a "sensei" (one who has mastered the skill and can teach others, but is still ever learning).
How does Yuri Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model help explain the stress and pressure which young members of western society feel in the modern age?
Yuri Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model provides a framework within which young members of western society, who appear to suffer from greater stress than previous generations, may be studied. The Ecological Model contains various layers--individual, family, community, nation, and world. At each of these levels above the individual there exist issues/problems/situations which affect the individual (in this case the younger generation who are in school or are recently entering adulthood). Issues that are the cause of greater stress have apparently grown in intensity from the 20th to the 21st century. Some examples may include, the breakdown of the family (higher divorce rates), community collapse (urban decay), national corruption (distrust with political leaders), and worldwide commotion (wars and conflicts). Across the various areas of the individual's lives--politics, education, religion, interpersonal, technology--the dramatic changes occurring at a more rapid rate bring more pressure upon the individual which causes a dramatic rise in stress.
In interpersonal relations what are the two main components that contribute to positive, effective communication?
Positive, effective communication within the realm of interpersonal relations involves two main components: 1. Non-verbal activities require the listener to demonstrate body processes and responses (including body positioning) which send signals to the communicator that the listener is in an active mode of receiving the intended message from the communicator. Listening, critical in the non-verbal activity, is key to successful interaction, and often, silence can be the most important part of non-verbal connection. 2. Verbal activities necessitate accurate, informed responses to the communicator's message. These verbal responses should be void of subjective judgments but should include honest, sincere information. Critical to the successful interaction are verbal responses that do not demean, criticize, or intend to cause adverse reaction from the communicator. Verbal communication should not be pre-thought; however, "knee jerk" reactions should be avoided as well.
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