Should Every Student in Australia Be Encouraged to Learn a Language in Addition to English? Essay
One of the most important purposes of any educational process is to encourage students to learn languages and improve their level of knowledge. The necessity to choose languages for studies in Australia undergoes considerable changes and challenges since the latter part of the 21st century. English is the language spoken by the vast majority of population, however, there are also many other languages like French, German, Japanese, or Italian that has to be encouraged to be learnt in addition to English.
While some teachers and students may consider the offered idea as a negative or unnecessary practice in student life, it seems interesting and effective to encourage education of different languages in addition to English in order to support multilingual population of Australia as well as promote communication with different people for personal and professional needs.
One of the first reasons to encourage a language to be learnt by Australian students in addition to English is the fact that there are migrants in the country who speak different languages at the same time.
There are “fifteen percent of students spoke another language in addition to English” (Oliver, Purdie & Rochecouste 2005, p. 29). Such cultural diversity among students is observed in all schools around the world, and the success of a particular educational system depends on how the teachers are able to integrate cultures and promote the use of various languages.
While it is often argued by some teachers that a variety of language may become an obstacle to general student education and “the process of integrating the graduate attributes into the academic curriculum has been far from unproblematic” (Dunworth 2010, p. 8). However, if students cannot express their thoughts and ideas using English only, the results of education cannot be called successful. Thus the idea to implement other languages education in addition to English seems to be a good and justified.
To support the idea of different languages education in addition to English, the importance of communication between different people to meet personal and professional goals has to be considered. Current technological and computing progress promotes the need of for communication. “Languages have a key role to play in this process of harmonisation and promotion of cultural diversity” (Cunningham 2001, p. 201).
Moreover, to succeed in communicative processes, people have to get appropriate level of knowledge and understand the meaning of each phrase and each point. While international relations may be developed by means of one language only so that people should spend much time of studying new information but strength their knowledge in some particular spheres.
However, it happens that people are not aware of English but still eager to develop communication so that it seems to be better to use another language that was studied in addition to English at school. Thus the idea to encourage each student study a new language does not have any negative outcomes but, vice versa, helps to improve future challenges and misunderstandings.
Although it is not always easy and appropriate to study several languages at the same time, some students want to improve their knowledge and get all chance to promote successful future. Teachers have to appreciate students’ desire and interests as well as take into consideration the fact cultural diversity that is inherent ti Australia. A language in addition to English should be studied by students who have to be encouraged, supported, and understood with their intentions and demands.
Cunningham D 2001, ‘Language, technology, and teaching: challenges and solutions for the 21st century’, SAALT Journal for Language Teaching, vol. 35, pp. 201-222.
Dunworth, K 2010, ‘Clothing the emperor: addressing the issue of English language proficiency in Australian universities’, Australian Universities’ Review, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 5-10.
Oliver, R, Purdie, N, & Rochecouste, J 2005, ‘Affective aspects of language learning: beliefs, attitudes, efficacy’, Babel, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 29-38.
“The Courageous Soul that Dares and Defies”: Naturalism in The Awakening Essay
Critic Donald Pizer understands literary naturalism as the artistic result of unremitting hardship, both personal and social. Taken one step further, literary naturalism laments humankind’s lot through its focus on characters that attempt to break free from their suffering, only to suffer more in the attempt.
A naturalist author, in Pizer’s mind, “grounds his fiction in the social realities of his historical moment and he therefore cannot help being especially responsive to social reality when that reality impinges cruelly on the fates of most men…[T]he naturalistic ethos, which views man as circumscribed by conditions of life over which he has no control, appears to be confirmed during periods of social malaise and individual hardship” (Pizer 153).
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is one such work. Set in turn of the century New Orleans, The Awakening details the futile attempts of the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, to realize a modicum of personal freedom amid the socially constrictive Victorian era, wherein the roles allowed to females consisted exclusively of wifedom and motherhood.
Where the novel differs from other naturalist novels of its time, however, is in its treatment of the artist. This essay will show that The Awakening is best understood less so as an example of naturalist fiction and more so as a manifesto that highlights the intense social sacrifices that the pursuit of art demands.
Chopin’s nod to naturalism in The Awakening focuses wholly on the conundrum of freedom faced by women like Edna, who long for personal freedom, yet feel biologically bound to their children, and unable to leave them as a result.
In Pizer’s words, “though Edna may reject…the socially-constructed role of a mother’s total absorption in her children, she has not escaped the biologically essentialist act of giving birth to children and thus finding within herself the protective emotions of a mother” (Pizer 6). We see this especially toward the end of the novel, once Edna has struck out alone.
Though for all intents and purposes she has achieved her aim – she is free of her husband and painting regularly – she suffers agony at the loss of her children. “It was with a wrench and pang that Edna left her children. She carried away with her the sound of their voices and the touch of their cheeks. All along the journey homeward their presence lingered with her like the memory of a delicious song” (Chopin 248).
Critic Peter Ramos understands The Awakening as a “subtle but compelling critique of…naturalism” (Ramos 148).
Through Edna, says Ramos, Chopin “implies that in order for women like Edna to survive, the philosophical boundaries and consequences associated with these literary genres can and must be overcome. By…presenting women who seem to have a modicum of agency and autonomy, as well as a protagonist who mistakenly comes to believe that she has no say over her own fate, it undermines naturalism’s claims of determinism” (Ramos 148).
However, the more distinct means by which Chopin deviates from naturalism occurs through the character of Mademoiselle Reisz, a woman who has transcended biological determinism through the commitment to her art.
The independence and sacrifice that Reisz the artist embodies stands in stark relief to Edna, the mother posing as an artist. Chopin’s novel states in no uncertain terms that there are two reasons why Edna fails and ends her own life: she cannot be alone, and she cannot move beyond her identify as a mother, expect through death.
We see this most poignantly illustrated immediately before Edna’s suicide, when she imagines “the children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had overpowered her and sought to drag her into the soul’s slavery for the rest of her days. But she knew a way to elude them” (Chopin 300).
Similarly, Edna’s inability to truly embrace her art and simultaneously, her aloneness, appears in the following passage: “Despondency had come upon her there in the wakeful night, and had never lifted. There was no one thing in the world she desired. There was no human being whom she wanted near her except Robert; and she even realized that the day would come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out of existence, leaving her alone” (Chopin 300).
Edna’s final thoughts envision the derision that Mademoiselle Reisz would heap upon her suicide, were she a witness to it. “How Mademoiselle Reisz would have laughed, perhaps sneered, if she knew! “And you call yourself an artist! What pretensions, Madame! The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies” (Chopin 302).
Chopin’s message appears to be that though women such as Edna may delude themselves into thinking it is the fault of biology that they cannot strike out on their own, the true fault lies in their inability to free themselves from their identity as “mother-woman” (Chopin 19). In Chopin’s mind, it is Edna’s inability to fully embrace her art that keeps her at the mercy of patriarchal social restraints.
In a similar vein as other turn of the century naturalist novels, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening “illuminates the socio-economic and cultural realities women like Edna faced, as well as the physical desires and social needs society denied them” (Ramos 148). However, the novel diverges from the form in the relationship that develops between Edna and Mademoiselle Reisz, and through Reisz, Chopin delivers her ultimate message: the artist must accept the social consequences of her calling.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Herbert S. Stone & Company, 1899. Print.
Pizer, Donald. “American Naturalism in Its ‘Perfected’ State.” The Theory and Practice of American Literary Naturalism. Southern Illinois University Press, 1993. 153-166. Web.
Pizer, Donald. “A Note on Kate Chopin’s The Awakening as Naturalistic Fiction.” The Southern Literary Journal 33.2 (2001): 5-13. Web.
Ramos, Peter. “Unbearable Realism: Freedom, Ethics and Identity in The Awakening.” College Literature 37.4 (2010): 145-152. Web.
Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood Essay (Critical Writing)
Joker One written by Campbell posses a big task in trying to explain it .In any case anyone who tries to analyze this book does so only in what can be referred to as poignant. This is a tale of single Marines constituting of a single platoon tasked with fighting in Iraq. Never the less the Joker One does not really dwell on war (Campbell 4); indeed the author flatters the condition of Human beings with the war in Iraq, more so fixing it in its right place.
The author needed to write his story so that he may not influence the opinions of the critics on the fact that America was courageous enough to invade Iraq thus justifying the invasion. Rather the author did so in order to place the identities to those who labored in saving their nation.
It does not add much to whether one supports the war or not, however, what is important is the understanding of peoples labor in the Iraqi war. The fighters in the battle had no fear. They fought with the spirit of bravado, determination, courage and outstanding selflessness. If one decides to search keenly, he will realize that the book is such touching and emotional they Campbell put it.
Till now the news reported on Iraqi war remains to be rhetorical. Basing on this book, it can be seen that the nit grits of the entire body have observed the sentiments of the individuals against America in Iraq as being courageous and embracing the aspect of brotherhood in Iraqi (Campbell 15).
However, to date the author expends his sentiments representing the real situation of the war in Iraq. On the other hand, the author does not bring out the aspect of unit to the American friends who when compelled by the choice of either defending their individual mortalities or societies which instead lean on the coalitions raging war against America.
Some of the war troops went back to United States broken, battered as well as beaten psychologically as well as physically. Most of the warriors never made it to America instead succumbed to the injuries sustained in war in wooden coffins beautified by America’s flag. The author has gone ahead to mention the dead by name signifying the leadership of the army.
The leader was such an impeccable one knowing each and every person under him by name. As Campbell puts it, every army man has got ambitions, visions as well as relations to which in spite of the mortalities or injuries has been altered incredibly by the them taking part in the worst type of human interaction (Campbell 20).
At this juncture Campbell takes the readers through fore bench into day to day labor of his war men. The leader should have had it an easy time bringing to light his leadership skills and qualities in Joker One so as to elevate his personal ego. Instead he brings to light the extraordinary unity of those individuals under his control. As opposed to bringing out his accomplishments he lays emphasis on the achievements of his army war and highlights his mistakes during the judgment (Campbell 22).
The author goes ahead supporting the decisions made in haste which he makes under compulsion. What follows this is a whole season of regrets following the decisions made the leader. Indeed the author brings out the whole aspect of leadership, brotherhood and unity more of a tale yet the story is a true representation of the Iraqi war.
The story is notes the need for the second and private lieutenants who are the key players that build up the sharp end of the arrow which is the Americas army in readiness (Campbell 23). The book is portrays an emotional story that outlines the Leaders own journey via the brilliant success including the difficulties which combat leadership.
It does not just bring out the sentiments of an individual but it is important in any given leader alongside all the existing beings to which the platoons were to be transformed to. This is indeed a touching narrative of leadership study. Being a leader the author takes time to explain and elaborate much amid expectation and experience (Campbell 30).
Being a young person in charge he has received training in the hypothesis of war, however, is in need of the skills equal to that that has had experience with wildlife and being an officeholder he is tasked with leading and meeting his marines expectation in spite of the inadequate practical expertise.
This is the key challenges that are faced by most of young office holders. For instance, how does one bring inspiration to officers who have not been commissioned neither have they achieved any award nationwide? How can one bring forty non unified marines to fight harmoniously thus overcoming their joined or summed up counterparts. Campbell has clearly brought out this narrative ousting the leadership.
Following a short stint of being in charge of the troops with the fore front marine headquarters based in Iraqi, the leader was in charge of the first platoon. The acceptance of the few orders stipulated by the troops and was out to find it being in the worst combat dating back to Hue with respect to a certain degree of causality which never existed in the past thirty years (Campbell 35).
The author being an accurate observer highlights to the readers what looked like the least cadre of command during frenetic preparation to war by the troops. The confusion coupled with disappointment realized lasts a short time because the troops receive orders for employment in Iraq.
In conclusion, Joker One with most of the themes of leadership, labor and unity is one of the literatures that should be flipped into keenly by every young office holder who is seeking for a leadership opportunity to manage Marines. Campbell is however not perfect, hence he fails to shine as opposed to unflattering things to himself and those under him.
The author’s honesty gives a true picture of what attracts most of the marines to the realm of complexities and how brotherly love and leadership gives the purity and nobility of rationale to bring the troops back to them (Campbell 105).
Campbell, Dovan. Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage ,Leadership, and Brotherhood. New York: Random House, 2009.
To What Extent Should British Government Take Positive Measures To Encourage Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises? Argumentative Essay
In Britain, small and medium-sized organizations play a very significant role in the economy. These enterprises play a major role in enhancing sustainable community development and economic growth. The production processes of SMEs are environmental friendly which reduces the level of environmental pollution.
However, these enterprises are faced with various difficulties which threaten their success. They are sometimes threatened by the market imperfections which significantly affects their performance.
Their small size nature also makes these enterprises to be more affected by the change in the economic and social environment in their locations than the larger organizations. This raises concern on their performance. There is a need for the British government to come up with necessary measures to suppress negative impacts of the social and economic situations on these enterprises.
These enterprises are also faced with difficulties in getting financial resources for capital or research and development. These limitations hinder them from accessing advanced technologies which reduces their chances of succeeding.
Therefore, the British government should promote policies which aim at promoting good business environment in order to facilitate the development of the small and medium size organizations. The British government has the responsibility of initiating measures which are necessary for improvement of products, processes, organizational functions and marketing processes of the small and medium size enterprises. These aspects are essential in determining the performance of the SMEs.
As already seen, SMEs have a significant role in the economy. The British government should, therefore, employ the necessary measures to promote the performance of these enterprises. According to Spence (2010), government policies significantly determine the performance of the SMEs (p. 5). The British government, therefore, has a role to play in improving small and medium size enterprises. There are several ways through which the British government can promote the SMEs.
One of the measures the British government should consider in promoting SMEs is through taxation. The government can contribute to the success of the small and medium size organizations through taxation in two different ways.
First, the British government can improve the performance of the SMEs by reducing the taxes charged on them. Stamp taxes and taxes on sales threaten the financial stability of small and medium enterprises and, therefore, are discouraged for the SMEs. The government need to cut down the taxes charged on the raw materials used by the small and medium enterprises in the production process. By so doing, the government will enable the SMEs to reduce their costs hence maximizing their profits.
Another way through which the British government can promote the small and medium size enterprises is by taxing a higher proportion on large enterprises than the SMEs. This will improve the competitiveness of the small and medium size enterprises. This will significantly contribute to their success.
Promoting Research and Development and Technology Transfer
Research and development has an essential role in determining the performance of the small and middle size enterprises. The British government has the responsibility of facilitating an appropriate infrastructure which has the capacity to encourage research and development by SMEs.
For instance, the government can establish intermediary organizations which can promote inter-firm networks. Such organisation facilitates the linkage of these enterprises with the necessary support services. These organizations also facilitate technology transfer. This contributes in improving their performance.
According to Etemad (2004), emerging SMEs suffer from the fact that they don’t have high reputation and their brand is not clearly established (p. 75). Research and development promotes the development of these enterprises by increasing the organisation’s reputation through quality products.
Adoption of high level of technology enables SMEs to add value to their products. This increases their market share in the global market. Consequently, this leads to an increase in the level of their revenues.
Subsidy is a form of assistance in terms of finance or other resources that are aimed at improving a business or an enterprise. The British government should use subsidies to promote the growth of SMEs. One of the subsidies is providing credit facilities at lower interest rates. This enables these organizations to increase their investment levels efficiently. This significantly contributes to their success. Low interest credit facilities also encourage research and development in the small and medium size organizations.
Through subsidies, the governments increase the level of competitiveness of the domestic goods and services against the imported goods and services. This significantly contributes to expansion of the market share for the domestic organizations. However, the government should be very careful while providing subsidies to the SMEs. In some cases, subsidies can lead to market distortions which may come along with a very large economic cost.
Market Based Industrial Policy
Another way through which the government should promote the SMEs is by pursuing a market based industrial policy. By so doing, the government will promote the market mechanisms in generating an effective and vibrant industrial structure. The government should only intervene in special cases for instance when there is market failure.
Otherwise, the British government should refrain from interfering withy the general market operations. For instance, it should not advocate for lowering of prices below the equilibrium level in favour of consumers. Such act will be discouraging the development of the small as well as the medium sized enterprises in the country.
This policy promotes financial support for the developing or declining small and medium size enterprises through research and development. It also targets developing employee training as a way of boosting poor regions to maintain equality in income distribution. In some cases, government intervention due to market failures leads to complexities worse than those resulting to imperfect market conditions. In such cases, a government policy becomes impotent.
The British government should also promote the development of market externalities which will most likely encourage the SMEs to undertake research and development.
For instance, if the social benefit of undertaking a research is greater than that the returns derived by the organisation, then there will be little incentive for the organizations to invest in research and development. In order to promote small and medium enterprise, government should fund the research and development as a way of encouraging these enterprises to invest in knowledge.
Research and development plays a very important role in the performance of companies. For instance, research and development improves the quality of goods and services. High quality products attract customers hence expanding the market share for the SMEs. Therefore, continued research assists an organisation in attracting as well as retaining customers. Poor research and development are the major factors which obstruct the development of changing industrial base.
There is a need to recognize that different SMEs needs different level of support. More attention should be paid on declining enterprises to prevent their complete fall. Industrial approach method of British government intervention can be directed to save these specific enterprises as well as prevention of loss of employment opportunities.
The British government can also employ this method to save Small and medium sized enterprises which are declining due to unhealthy competition from large enterprises. While promoting SMEs in the country, the British government should propose measures which enhance the development of the productive capacities of the poor regions. This effort contributes in reduction of the level of unemployment and poverty in these areas. Supporting such enterprises will also contribute in increasing the level of income in the region.
Improvement of the Regulatory Processes for Small and Medium Size Enterprises
The British government should eliminate regulatory measures which are associated with high costs in terms of money and time resources. The government should promote measures which can help the establishment and operations of the small and medium enterprises.
This includes establishment of necessary measures to promote the exchange of views between these enterprises with the local authority. This will significantly contribute in the development of the small and medium enterprises at the local level. These measures will also promote the development of a favourable environment which improves the performance of SMEs.
Promoting inter-firm cooperation
Inter-firm cooperation has a significant role in promoting the development and performance of the small and medium size organizations. Cooperation among the firms offers these firms a benchmark on which they can gauge their individual performances in relation to the overall performance of the industry.
For instance an enterprise can gauge itself to determine how far they are behind the leading enterprises. This encourages these enterprises to apply the necessary measures to improve the performance of these enterprises. The British government should therefore consider facilitating cooperation among the SMEs in the country in order to promote their success. One of such organization was SME Task-Force in 1986. This organisation significantly contributed to social and economic growth (Dyson 1989: 17).
Giaoutzi et al (1988) noted that the location and the amount of employment opportunities generated by the small and medium enterprises depend on their relationship with larger enterprises as well as the level of independence with respect to large firms (p.164). The British government should not only encourage cooperation among the small enterprises, but also with the large firms.
The government can realize this by carrying the necessary measures to provide incentives for interaction between these two categories of enterprises. For instance, SME may be highly innovative and dynamic. However, it may not have the necessary financial resources to carry out research and development functions. In such a situation, the large enterprise may cover the financial requirements for the research and development for the small enterprise (Giaoutzi et al 1988: 165). This contributes in development of the SMEs.
Inter-firm cooperation encourages the agglomeration. When the SMEs come together, they enjoy the advantages of clustering and economies of scale. For instance, by clustering, small enterprises can purchase their inputs in bulk. In the process, they save a lot of money on such discounts. This reduces the operational costs hence increasing the profit margins.
Another way through which the British government can promote SMEs is through trade liberalization. Trade liberalization plays a significant role in promoting the performance of the SMEs. However, not all SMEs are enthusiastic about the liberalization of trade (Susman 2007: 264).
Trade liberalization may favour larger organizations to relocate their productive factors overseas. This poses a threat to the small enterprises from cheaper imports coming from multinational companies. Therefore, the British government should be very careful with the effects of liberalization of trade.
The government should come up with the necessary measures to avoid negative impacts of the trade liberalization on the small and medium enterprises in the country. For instance, the government may suppress negative impacts of liberalization to the SMEs through subsidies. This helps in reducing operational costs of these enterprises hence increasing their competitiveness.
According to Susman (2007), a number of small and medium size enterprises have gone out of business due high level of global competition (264). Therefore, the British government should carefully gauge the impact of trade liberalization in every category of SMEs before its implementation. Some are favoured while others are disfavoured by the policy. The government should pay more attention to the organizations which are negatively affected.
In most cases, the small and medium size enterprises face unhealthy competition from imports. The British government should intervene in the market to protect the SMEs. One of the methods which the government can apply to avoid unhealthy competition is through tariffs. By imposing tariffs on the imports, the government can significantly improve the competitiveness of the domestic goods. This promotes the development of small and medium size enterprises.
The registration and licensing processes can also affect the development of the SMEs. High costs of processing licenses Is a big burden on the SMEs. Complicated legal processes and delays also increase the operational costs of these enterprises.
Advantages of the Small and medium size enterprises in the British economy
One of the advantages of the SMEs is that their small size nature increases their flexibility and ability to sustain adverse economic situations. This limits the chances of their failure.
Another advantage of the small and medium size enterprises is they are more labour intensive than the large sized enterprises. This significantly reduces the level of costs. In other words, the SMEs have less capital requirement compared with the large sized enterprises. Due to their labour intensiveness, these small and medium size enterprises contributes in creating employment in the economy.
Role of small and medium sized enterprises
In the British economy, the small and medium sized enterprises have a significant role to play. They are major contributors in job creation and innovation in the country.
These enterprises therefore play a significant role in maintaining economic stability in the British economy.
The small and middle sized organizations play a significant role in the community. They contribute in community development through various ways. They contribute in maintenance of sustainable development levels in the British economy.
Another advantage of the medium sized enterprises is that they create sustainable level of employment in the economy as already noted. According to Damassa (2006), the small enterprises are labour intensive and hence help in reducing the level of unemployment in the economy.
On the other hand, the large sized enterprises are capital intensive and therefore do not have a significant role in reducing the level of unemployment. SMEs provide employment and opportunities for millions of people around the world which relatively high compared with the large enterprises (Hillary 2000: p. 148). Through employment creation, small sized enterprises help in maintaining economic stability. In general, SMEs significantly contribute to the competitiveness of the economy.
Another important role of small and medium size enterprises is that they promote income equality in the economy. Income inequality is one of the main factors which are used in measuring the poverty level in an economy. Poor countries are characterized by unequal income distribution. Therefore, by promoting equality in income distribution, small and medium size enterprises reduces the poverty levels in the economy.
SMEs also promote innovation since they are associated with a high level of flexibility and ability to take risks. This contributes to economic growth and development through increased exports.
Due to the fact that small and medium size enterprises are less mobile than the larger corporations, it leads to the creation of ties of dependence as well as familiarity to the community which cultivates good reputation and relationships among the customers and neighbours (Damassa 2006: par 4 ).
In conclusion, this discussion has clearly shown that the British government has a significant role to play in encouraging small and medium enterprises. The government has power to formulate policies which can promote the development of these enterprises.
It is, therefore, the duty of the government to come up with the most appropriate measures which will facilitate the development of necessary policies to boost small and medium size enterprises. However, there are certain policies which can promote development of some of SMEs and at the same time poses a threat to others. The British government should critically consider the resultant effects of each policy to avoid unintended results.
Damassa, T., 2006. The Role of Small- And Medium-Sized Enterprises. [Online] Web.
Dyson, K., 1989. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. London, Routledge.
Etemad, H., 2004. International Entrepreneurship in Small and Medium Size Enterprises: Orientation, Environment and Strategy. Cheltenham U.K., Edward Elgar Publishing.
Giaoutzi, M. et al. 1988. Small and Medium Size Enterprises and Regional Development. London, Routledge.
Hillary, R., 2000. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Environment: Business Imperatives. Sheffield, Greenleaf.
Spence, l., 2010. Ethics in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. London, Springer
Susman, G., 2007. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Global Economy. Cheltenham, U.K., Edward Elgar.
Four types of courage Essay
Courage calls upon a person to keep moving on even in the face of hopelessness or obstacles. In the society, there are many changes occurring and one can choose to both panic and fear to confront the change or choose to draw upon inner self and move forward. Rollo May says that one must have courage in order to live a meaningful life in the society. Courage, he insists, is not just one emotion among others, but the foundation on which all other virtues and values rest.
Types of courage
Courage is a fundamental emotion that every human being must possess. It enables one to exist meaningfully in the society and have the ability to bring change in the society and self.
Physical courage entails the use of one’s body to show sympathy and cultivate empathy. People with physical courage make a sacrifice every time they choose to exhibit this type of courage. They put their bodies at risk for the sake of others. For instance, in case of a fire fighters walk into burning buildings to try to save lives of people they do not even know.
They risk injuries or even death and to do so they must have physical courage otherwise they would fear putting themselves at risk for others. Another instance that demonstrates physical courage in the recent time is the efforts of the workers in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant who have been working to stop the emission of radioactive fumes.
They have put their lives at risk and some may even die due to the effects of the radioactive fumes but they had the physical courage to stay and stop the leak after the area and been evacuated. Other instances of courage are exhibited by ordinary people everyday such as when a father or mother takes a risk for the sake of protecting their children.
To make meaningful intimacy one requires social courage. It enables one to put one’s self out there in order to create relationships with other people. Developing relationships calls for an investment of a person’s time and emotions.
The investment may not pay off and so a person must be willing to take the risk of failing and encountering rejection. When a person lacks social courage, they can become loners and feel very isolated. Thus, one must be willing to overcome fear and interact with other people even those that are often neglected by others because they are seen to be different.
A person must also be willing to be tolerant of other people because people come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and mannerisms. Moreover, an individual must have the social courage to accommodate others and make their lives easier because everyone has the need of the sense of belonging. Social courage also helps parents who have children with disabilities take care of them without shame of being ridiculed in the society.
They accept their children’s condition and do not hide them from the public. In so doing they bring up children who are not ashamed of their disabilities and they can have the courage to integrate in the society and lead meaningful lives. Such parents are only able to accept such children because they have social courage.
Moral courage helps a person to say no to violence. Violence comes in various forms such as psychological, spiritual and physical. People often condone various forms of violence because they lack the moral courage to take a stand against violence.
For instance, many people will stand by and watch a parent abusing their children or spouses but will not take any action because they fear getting involved in what they consider none of their business. Other people will have knowledge about planned violence but will not report to relevant persons for fear of being found out.
Moral courage is a virtue that many people fear to exercise for fear of being called meddlers but if people choose to exercise this courage so many forms of violence that happen in the society would be stopped and fewer people would suffer. For example, if people had moral courage they would blow the whistle on planned activities such as terrorists’ acts. Imagine the number of lives that would have been saved if one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks had had the courage to report the plan before hand.
The creative courage enables one to come up with ways of changing the society. A person who has creative courage can choose to go against the majority and do something different that is right.
For instance, in today’s society sex and drugs are very popular especially in the pop culture women are objectified and taken only as sex objects. An artist can come up with songs that are free of women representing sex even though they may not be a hit.
By choosing to a road, that few would such a person can make a difference and show that people do not need to have dirty music and videos to produce good music. They can incorporate a message that challenges the use of drugs or sex and in this way; they can bring about a positive change among the people in society. Through creative courage one can defy violence and even death in the society by coming up with new ideas to tackle the problem. In so doing, one also exhibits moral courage and social courage.
Moreover, through creative courage people have come up with ideas that have helped to transform the society. For example, people who have come up with ideas of building green houses that help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases thought of a creative idea and had the courage to follow it until it materialized.
Others have created beautiful songs, movies, poems, books among others that people appreciate. If such people did not have the courage to come up with the ideas and persist in making them a reality, we would be missing many beautiful things in life.
Courage is paramount in life. Courage has enabled people to stand for things they believed were right even in the face of opposition and triumphed. Some have stopped evils and helped through moral courage making the society a better place to live in and safe for humanity.
Through courage, humanity is preserved and given an opportunity to advance. It therefore means that without courage it would be very difficult for the people in the society to live meaningful lives. Every person must strive to attain courage because it is the fundamental virtue in living meaningful lives. Through exercising courage, we not only make the lives of those who surround us better, but also our own.
Moral Courage of Benedict Arnold Essay (Article)
It is often said that it is easy to find moral courage in various individuals that have been celebrated for their actions throughout history yet it is far harder and a lot more interesting to try to find moral courage in historical figures that have been vilified for their actions and treated as cowards.
In the history of choices and the way in which they leave an indelible mark by which a person is judged the decision of betrayal made by Benedict Arnold has forever marked him in infamy as a traitor to the American Revolution and the measure by which future traitors are compared to (Evisum, 1).
While history has marked him a traitor to America Benedict Arnold was actually a revolutionary hero before he became traitor. His actions at the Battle of Valcour Island, the Battle of Ridgefield and the Battle of Saratoga contributed immensely towards ensuring the survival of the revolution. Unfortunately, despite his successes at the battlefield he was repeatedly passed over for promotion and was accused numerous times by political and military opponents of corruption.
Despite these accusations Arnold continued to faithfully serve the early Continental Congress and was actually one of the cornerstones of the revolutionary effort as indicated by various historical records and historians alike. It must be noted that even though he had contributed vast sums to the war effort the early Continental Congress accused him of owing them money (Evisum, 1).
From these events it can be seen that initially, Arnold displayed courage, conviction and utter selflessness risking his life numerous times and nearly driving himself to bankruptcy in order to liberate the original 13 colonies from British rule. As a result of all these allegations in spite of his efforts to help win the war Arnold became disenchanted and turned traitor to the revolution.
Under the theory of utilitarianism the moral worth of a perceived action is actually reliant on its resulting outcome. This means that the overall usefulness of a particular action is dependent on the resulting positive utility created and the reduction in negative utility.
In the case of Benedict Arnold his contributions helped to ensure the success of the revolution yet the resulting outcome has him betraying his nation due to the maltreatment he suffered under their hands. American historians do agree that if it was not for the actions of Benedict Arnold the American Revolution would not have succeeded. Under the theory of utilitarianism the maximizing utility that was initially created was the contribution of Arnold towards the liberation of America under British rule.
As such, his actions could be considered as being morally courageous in the face of possible negative circumstances. His subsequent betrayal of the American people on the other hand can actually be explained by two concepts namely the theory of egoism and the psychological humanist theory under Maslow.
Under the theory of egoism it is expressly stated that people are moral agents that should accomplish actions that are in their own self-interests.
In a way the theory assumes that since people are moral agents they will not pursue lines of behavior that will negatively affect the well being of other people but rather enhances one’s own well being through self-action. In the case of Benedict Arnold his betrayal of the American Revolution was a direct result of the maltreatment he received at their hands, a facet of information conveniently left out in most historical text known to the general public.
As such in order to pursue an action that would be to his own well-being he would choose to leave those who maltreated him and join those who promised to treat him better. Records do show that after the war was over Benedict Arnold was treated rather well by the British government and as such his pursuit of ethical egoism where the self is put first before others was a success.
The humanist theory on the other hand takes a different approach to interpreting the actions of Arnold. According to the humanist theory, human behavior is motivated to achieve the so called “maximum potential” of the self and as such people will always attempt to reach this maximum potential unless they are hindered by obstacles (Hefner Media Group, 1). The best way of explaining the actions of Arnold would be to use Maslow’s pyramid of the hierarchy of needs.
Maslow suggests that all humans have specific needs which they try to meet which come in a certain hierarchical order. It can be assumed that after the war was over Arnold planned to return to his life as a merchant yet with the accusations hurled against him and his supposed debt to Congress this would not be feasible. Here the obstacles to Arnold meeting his needs under Maslow’s pyramid are the debts he has to congress and the accusations against him (Hefner Media Group, 1).
For him to continue to achieve his maximum potential he would need to overcome these obstacles and as a result he chose to betray the revolution and join the British which did result in him gaining enough money to become a merchant again. Care ethics on the other hand does not support the actions of Arnold, while it may be true that he contributed to the war the fact remains that once he betrayed the nation his knowledge of the tactics and stratagems of the various military commanders actually cost several men their lives.
The fact is care ethics focuses on the interdependence of individuals and vulnerability some individuals have over the course of actions of others. It is a theory that helps to determine whether the course of action a person took was right or wrong. In the case of Benedict Arnold, though he may have helped defend the nation early on the fact remains that his actions later on in the course of the war resulted in hundreds of deaths and as such under the theory of care ethics his actions are condemned.
The theories of intuition, Divine Command, Kant, and Ross come into play in this particular study when examining the legality, morality and ethicality behind the reasons of particular actions. In the case of Benedict Arnold his actions were in a way illegal and unethical due to the violation in trust that the American public at the time had placed in him.
It must be noted though that unethical and immoral types of behavior were first done against him by his opponents in the continental congress before he even tried to betray the American people. His actions, immoral and unethical as they may be, are nothing more than the result of him rebelling against the continued slander and torment that was hurled against him.
The most useful theory in identifying the reasoning behind the actions of Arnold would be that of Consequentialism and its judgment that a morally right act would have the consequence of producing a morally right result and vice versa. In the case of Arnold his self sacrifice on the battlefield resulted in numerous victories for the early army of the U.S. It has been clearly stated that if Arnold had not joined the revolution at the time it would have been likely that the original 13 colonies would have lost the war.
As such his morally right action produced a good result in the form of America winning the war. Arnold’s betrayal could actually be considered the result of consequentialism as well since it was the immoral and unethical actions of the continental congress against Arnold that caused him to betray them in the first place.
Though it may be somewhat morbid the best lesson that can be learned from examination of Benedict Arnold is that no matter how strong your ethical conviction is everyone has a tipping point. From being one of the revolutions greatest heroes to becoming one of its most hated villains Arnold initially did try to stay true to his ethical convictions.
Unfortunately the utterly contemptible manner in which he was treated despite his efforts resulted in him being disgusted over what the revolution was about resulting in him abandoning their cause.
Evisum. Benedict Arnold. (2000). pg.1. Retrieved from https://www.benedictarnold.org/
Hefner Media Group. Personality Synopsis. Allpsychonline (2004). pg. 1.Retrieved from http://allpsych.com/personalitysynopsis/murray/
Fear vs. Courage Essay
Inherently, man endeavors to avoid anything that is perceived as amoral; instead, he craves, and competes to get and amass what is thought to be good. Here, it is worth to note that what is true or bad is relative and depends on a given society.
Out of the realization of his manifest weakness, man has established institutions into which he has surrendered all his power to judge or determine his course of actions freely in order to promote harmonious living, which is suitable for his overall development.
These institutions include the family, state and religion among others. Giving up all of his power to judge and do as he wishes places him in a situation that makes him fear or lack the courage to disobey authorities-religious, political or otherwise.
Fear vs. Courage
Obedience is promoted in all societies while disobedience is condemned (Fromm 683). Societies have even devised wise sayings in praise of obedience such the famous Judeo-Christian adage ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice.’ Amongst the young ones, the most obedient are celebrated and held highly while the disobedient are subjected to unpleasant punishments at home and school with a view to discourage them from disobeying. They are thus, patterned socio-psychologically to embrace obedience, which shuns and fears disobedience.
Every aspect of human nature has its direct opposite. These life opposites are usually in a perpetual struggle with each other. This struggle brings about order in an individual’s life and the wider society. For instance, the opposite of fear is courage while the opposite of obedience is disobedience.
Even though man is born with an inherent power of choice, that power is limited in many ways. He can for instance choose to obey or disobey, love or hate.
However, the choice is usually dependent on various factors, some external and others internal to his inner being. In fact, based on this power of choice, the renowned political philosopher, Nicollo Machiavelli, suggested that political leaders should use excess power where necessary in order to have their way especially on matters that are a threat to security of their territories and their positions.
Fear and courage in relation to obedience and other life aspects is also inborn. For example, human beings tend to be fearful and suspicious of anything new or anybody different from them. This line of argument, in fact, perfectly explains the prevalent clash of cultures that characterize the global community.
As pointed out earlier, man always endeavors to avoid anything untoward, compete for, and pursue what is perceived as legitimate. The unpleasant consequences of disobedience have perpetually forced man to fear to do contrary to the will of all that are accepted as authentic authorities and more powerful than he is, in terms of religion is, politically or socially.
On the other hand, the goodies that ensue from being obedient form the basis of his courage to adhere to set rules and do the will of his authorities.
Nickson, an outspoken and fun-to- be with teenager in my neighborhood, has loving and caring but strict conservative parents. Through out the days I have known him, he has always had a somewhat rigid routine, which he follows without failure rest he faces the wrath of his no nonsense parents.
Likewise, he chooses his friends carefully and cannot even risk being seen in the company of some of his age mates in our place of residence. However, when he does anything significant of which he is used to doing since he is a bright boy he is mostly showered with various kinds of gifts.
Sometimes back, an internationally distinguished reggae musician was holding a concert in a local nightclub. Nickson, a zealous lover of reggae music, was under pressure to attend the concert. There was also pressure from close friends to join them that night. Most of his friends are well known by his parents even though, unlike him, they had of late managed to break up, to some extent, the strong grip of their parents up on their freedom of choice.
However, he knew exceedingly well that his parents would never approve his desire to attend let alone allow him to attend an overnight. He, just like his friends, had started to ascertain his maturity having jus concluded his high school education. It was pointless and equally wrong to mention such a thing to them.
He was therefore, left with the option of mustering enough courage to disobey his parents by sneaking out on the night, irrespective of the obvious punishment he would get, if they got knowledge of his actions.
The day came, and everything went as he had planned. In fact, this event became the turning point in his life in terms of asserting his freedom from unnecessary parental control given that he was just about to join the university. Nevertheless, his obedience and loyalty to his parents’ opinions on various issues continued to be an influential factor in most of his choices.
In this case, Nickson always feared doing anything that was contrary to his parents’ will whom he revered because it was understandably wrong to disobey his parents and secondly because of the severe punishment that would be meted out up on him in case of his wrongdoing.
The envied gifts, that usually followed most of his virtuous deeds at home and school, gave him more courage to obey his parents without ever questioning the logic of their somewhat unnecessarily suffocating rules and principles. The acceptance that ensued from his obedient deeds was irresistible. As Fromm would put it, Nickson’s obedience to his parents’ power and influence made him “…feel safe and protected” (686).
It made him see himself as part of his parents and gave him some form of strength. In short, the consequences of an individual’s choices and actions within the inner self, family, school, and the wider society potentially makes him vulnerable to obedience and difficult to do contrary to the will and whims of a respected authority.
At one point in life individuals, as well as, groups or the majority in the quest for the much-needed freedom gathers enough courage to disobey an authority irrespective of the possible unpleasant consequences. Fromm argues that, man can only achieve freedom from what he calls nonsense control of a minority power through disobedience (686).
However, he correctly cautions that not all disobedience can be regarded to as liberating and that not all obedience can be considered enslaving (Fromm 684). Doing so he argues would lead to the danger of ignoring the obvious dialectical relationships between obedience and disobedience.
For instance, when Nickson chooses to obey his parent’s dictates and wishes he would disobey his peer pressure and desire to attend the eagerly awaited Reggae concert. Likewise, by bowing down to his desires and peer pressure he would be disobeying his parents’ rules (Fromm 684). The struggle between a choice of obeying his parents or disobeying them brings about the order of events in his life.
When he eventually chooses to attend the concert behind his parents’ knowledge and obviously contrary to their principles, he in other words chose to be free from their power. This, eventually, gave him courage to say no to his parents in the future whenever he felt that his space was unnecessarily being constrained by the excesses of his parents’ power and opinions. In other words, it set him in to a path of freedom as he approached a new life in the campus and the outside world away from his usual home environment.
His choice was also largely informed by the need to conform to his age mates who were determined to make him assert his maturity to his parents just like them.
The desire to show that he was also not under an absolute control by his parents was strong and irresistible. He was even oblivious of the dangers that would befall him at the club during that night. He unconsciously bowed to the will of the majority in terms of his age mates, regardless of whether they were aware of the dangers they were subjecting themselves.
Conformity can be as enslaving as the fear to disobey powers that people have accepted in their minds as authentic and befitting respect and honor. It can equally deny people an opportunity to be free from unfounded beliefs, superstitions and stereotypes that can potentially impede identification and nurturing of their unique talents and abilities (Asch 730).
In virtually all societies, people choose to conform to the will and opinions of the majority because they would like to be accepted (Asch 726). Very few people have the ability to chose and are comfortable for being different or having a different opinion from the majority who are always ignorant, and out of unfounded cowardice, believed to be always right.
Surprisingly, acceptance by the majority who could be wrong is better and easily bearable than being alone and right with regard to a given issue (Fromm 686).
Being different in opinion and principles, is worse construed by some to be an indication of inadequacy in oneself, which can blindly mislead them into self-hate. Nickson found himself in such a situation and being a teenager, he was easily swayed by the choice of his majority age mates because of the equally wanted acceptance apart from the one enjoyed within the confines of his family.
He could not bear being alone anymore on matters related to entertainment and partying. Therefore, he decided to ignore his parents’ warnings about dangers of going out at night in their absence so that he could conform to his friends.
According to Asch (730), even though when asked, many people say they would prefer to be independent, influence of the principle of conformity is overwhelming and tends to make us prisoners of unfounded fears, beliefs, stereotypes, superstitions and myths (Zimbardo 743). This, in turn, limits people’s freedom, which is necessary for intellectual, spiritual and material development.
Even though fear is inborn, our fear to disobey is largely informed by factors such as the need to avoid taking responsibility for our actions and to conform to the despotism of the majority who are ignorantly believed to be right. This, in turn, denies us our freedom and independence from the ruin that results from majority misjudgments and convictions.
Asch, Solomon. Opinions and social pressure. New York, NY: Freeman, 1955.Print.
Fromm, Erich. On disobedience and other essays. New York, NY: Seabury Press, 1981.
Zimbardo, Philip. Stanford prison experiment: a simulation study of the psychology of imprisonment. Stanford: Philip G. Zimbardo, Inc, 1972. Print.
Instruments to encourage or discourage FDI and their implications for international business. Essay
Economic hardships like the recent economic meltdown, call for ways of jump starting different areas or aspects of a countries economy. It is for this reason that many countries have in the recent past designed packages to help breathe life into an otherwise failing economy. Foreign direct investment comes in handy to support government efforts at growing an economy. Ireland is a good example of a country that benefited immensely from FDI. From the brink of bankruptcy, FDI enabled it to transform its economy into a very promising one.
FDI becomes necessary because many governments especially in the developing and third worlds cannot afford the kind of capital necessary for setting up of industrial facilities or singly rolling out infrastructural projects like airports development.
Convincing foreign investors to invest in a country is not easy. It is for this reason that governments engage public relations firms and carry out fully fledged marketing campaigns. The aim of such campaigns is to help potential investors realize the investment potential in given countries. To effectively campaign and create awareness about investment opportunities, many countries have well organized agencies that promote investment. IDA in Ireland has been very instrumental in helping attract FDI through its promotional programs.
Foreign investors are not philanthropists; therefore, they do not invest where they do not foresee awesome returns or profits. Therefore, to discourage or encourage FDI, a government has to look into the attractiveness of its economy and play around with its control on industries in the economy.
Some of the control measures a country can manipulate include taxes, licensing, laws regarding partnerships with foreigners, risk security etc. By manipulating such measures, a country encourages international trading or discourages the same completely.
One factor that largely attracts foreign direct investment is availability of natural resources. However, availability of resources alone is not enough; government policies on resource management either attract or discourage investors. Much foreign direct investment goes into the oil well in the Arab world.
However, some oil rich countries have over time attracted more FDI than others. For example, for a long time, UAE has been the centre of the Arab world; attracting the bulk of FDI. However, in the recent past, small countries like Qatar have become the centre of focus. The countries attract FDI because they have natural resources (oil) but, most importantly, they have instituted friendly government control or policies with regard to the resources. When a country with resources applies anti-FDI policies, it affects growth of international trade.
Another factor that a government has to look into to attract foreign direct investment is the infrastructure. Depending on infrastructural developments, a government indirectly controls what sectors are invested into. Investors only go into a country where operation costs allow for a handsome return on investment. Therefore, when a country improves its airports, road transport and has good water access (ports), it is more likely to attract higher FDI than another with poor roads or one that is landlocked.
Privatization policies also attract or discourage FDI. In the recent past, due to the structural adjustment programs demanded of Africa by the IMF, most national companies were privatized.
A consistent privatization policy often attracts foreign investors. For instance, most telecommunication companies in Africa are owned in part by foreign investors. Taking Kenya as an example, Vodafone from the UK has a majority stake in Safaricom a leading telecommunication company. Privatization and participation of foreign investors helps integrate small economies into the international business.
What encourages customers to choose a particular type of store to patronize? Proposal
Rob and Pablo, the co-proprietors of SNOG (a chain of U.K. based yogurt shops), mention that the secret behind their success lies not only in the type of product they sell but rather in the way in which they make each transaction an “experience” for their customers.
What these two entrepreneurs are referring to is the general ambiance and “feel” that permeates a particular store or shopping area.
Studies such as those by Cadogan (2007) indicate that consumer patronage of particular retail locations is influenced not only by the products that are being sold but the experience they garner from shopping at a particular location (Cadogan, 583-604).
Grunert (2012) mentions that the concept of “experience” has increasingly being brought to the forefront of business planning for stores, restaurants and variety of establishments due to the correlation between experience and repeat patronage (Grunert, 445-456).
Creating an “Experience”
Rob and Pablo state the following regarding what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur “now we are in a recession and we see businesses that are successful; I think the one thing you see that they all have is a form of experience for their customers which is an important aspect of operations, so we made sure that there was an experience at Snog”.
The “experience” that Rob and Pablo are referring is not just the quality of the product itself but what customers feel when they enter into a particular establishment. In the case of Snog, all their outlets have a warm and friendly ambiance which is not only family friendly but actually promotes, in their words, “a happy feeling” for customers.
For example, it can be seen that in the case of Apple Inc. (which is considered the world’s most valuable company) all their stores, no matter what country they are present in, have a stylish and ergonomic design that looks “clean, modern and cutting edge” which has come to exemplify the experience of buying products at an Apple store.
Based on the popularity of Snog and Apple, it can be seen that by making their store into an “experience” rather than just a store this helps to encourage buying behavior among their clientele and even repeat visits (Ofir and Simonson 164-174).
As such, for any business that wants to increase their customer base, it is important to develop the experience their venue provides in order to appeal to consumers and create repeat business (Sathish and Venkatesakumar, 67-76).
The research strategy for this particular paper is actually quite simple, by combining academic literature with questionnaires distributed to members of the local populace the researcher will be able to determine what specific “experience” factors encourage consumers to patronize a given establishment.
A brief overview of various academic journal websites showed a plethora of different articles that can be utilized as references.
Not only that, the general availability of various brand name stores in the general vicinity of the researcher as well as potential survey takers in the campus shows that there are numerous sources of data that the researcher can utilize.
Attribution theory centers around the derived assumption of a particular individual/group of people regarding a particular process, product or service based on their experience with it. It is often used as means of investigating consumer opinions regarding a particular product and to determine the level of satisfaction derived from its use.
By utilizing this particular theory as the framework for this study, the researcher will be able to correlate the opinions of the research subjects regarding their assumptions over what practices lead to job satisfaction thus resulting improved performance and staying longer with the company.
Cadogan, John. “Enjoyment Of The Shopping Experience: Impact On Customers’ Repatronage Intentions And Gender Influence.” Service Industries Journal 27.5 (2007): 583-604. Business Source Premier. Web.
Grunert, Klaus. “An Integrative Conceptual Framework For Analyzing Customer Satisfaction With Shopping Trip Experiences In Grocery Retailing.” Journal Of Retailing & Consumer Services 19.4 (2012): 445-456. Business Source Premier. Web.
Ofir, Chezy, and Itamar Simonson. “The Effect Of Stating Expectations On Customer Satisfaction And Shopping Experience.” Journal Of Marketing Research (JMR) 44.1 (2007): 164-174. Business Source Premier. Web.
Sathish, A. S., and Ramakrishnan Venkatesakumar. “Customer Experience Management And Store Loyalty In Corporate Retailing – With Special Reference To “Sony World.” Annamalai International Journal Of Business Studies & Research 3.1 (2011): 67-76. Business Source Premier. Web.
How May the Teacher Encourage More Learner Involvement in the Lesson? Essay
The educational system of a society is fundamental to the development and ultimate advancement of the entire community. Educators and governments all over the world have acknowledged that teaching practices can have a significant effect on the education of the population leading to significant impact on economic and social outcomes of their citizens.
For this reason, high educational achievements have been seen as favorable for a nation’s well being. However, over the last few decades, it has been noted that students fail in different subjects as a result of lack of interest and inadequate commitment to the learning process.
This could arguably be blamed on the implementation of poor teaching strategies by the educators. This paper shall conduct a comprehensive research on different strategies and tools that can be employed by teachers in a bid to enhance interest and ultimately, success in subjects that are at times viewed as difficult by students.
To this end, a detailed analysis of learning styles, strategies and tools shall ensue so as to understand how different students learn and construct their thought processes. With such knowledge, an articulated response shall be provided as to how teachers can build student’s interest in various subjects.
Learning: A Brief Overview
MacKeracher (2004, p.74) asserts that learning refers to the content of thought or to what we learned, learning styles explicitly refer to how we have learned it”. Learning styles are achieved by combining a number of learning strategies to come up with particular learning styles.
Many learners can implement several strategies of learning but often prefer to rely on the strategy they know best. It is widely agreed by educators all over the world that students who actively engage in the learning process are likely to achieve greater success.
This assertion is backed by numerous education literature which reveals that once students are engaged in a particular learning process that suits them, they feel empowered and their propensity for higher personal achievements significantly rises.
The significance of learning styles springs from the fact that “each student has personally preferred strategies for processing information and for learning” (MacKeracher, 2004, p.79). It is these strategies that determine the manner in which the learner goes about the learning task.
Learning Enhancement Tools and Strategies
Educators play a vital role in determining how best a student grasps the concepts of any given subject. However, a deeper understanding on the learning styles that best suit each student is always an added advantage to the educator.
This can be attributed to the fact that harnessing such knowledge can help the educator enhance the level of interest a student exhibits in a subject. The article by Stigler and Stevenson (1991) aims at explaining why there is poor performance by American students in mathematics while their Asian counterparts seem to excel.
The data obtained from the studies highlights the poor performances of American children in mathematics as compared to their Asian counterparts.
While the obvious answer would be that there is a difference in the intelligence levels of the children of these two different ethnicities, Stigler and Stevenson assert that there is no overall difference in intelligence and as such, the cause for the staggering differences in mathematical achievements must be as a result of other factors.
Student Based teaching
A closer look at the article reveals that there is a difference in how mathematics is taught in the different cultures. The first major difference observed was that in Japan and China, the role of the teacher was that of a knowledgeable guide who constantly relied on students as sources of information.
This is in contrast to the American practice where the teacher was the prime information dispenser. The article illustrates that as a result of the Asian teacher’s role as a guide, children were active participants in the learning process as opposed to being passive automatons as was the case amongst the American children.
The article also reveals how Asian teachers utilize carefully crafted examples to guide their children to discover and eventually remember important mathematical concepts.
Stigler and Stevenson (1991) observe that Asian teachers focus on interpreting and relating a real-world problem to a mathematical one. As such, a lesson may begin by giving and solving a real world problem and the mathematical concepts of the same are only given at the end.
The American teachers on the other hand begin by introducing abstract mathematical concepts and solving them before giving their real world implications.
This two difference approaches have significant implications since young children are more likely to understand mathematical representations from meaningful experiences (real -world) than the other way round.
In their article, Stigler and Stevenson note that while both Asian and American teachers utilize objects to act as concrete representations of mathematical concepts, there is a greater consistency in the Asian classrooms.
While this is attributed to the differing resource ability between the groups (with the American classrooms having more financial resources), the Asian teachers affirm that using a variety of representational materials may confuse the children.
Another factor is that American teachers do away with the use of concrete objects much sooner than their Asian counterparts.
From these comparisons in teaching strategies, it can evidently be stated that encouraging students to participate in class leads to better results than spoon feeding them with the information about the topic.
Not only does this strategy help the students become more interactive in class, it also facilitate their ability to research and get more insightful knowledge regarding the given topic.
As Emtech (2003) reiterates, using complex concepts and terminologies have over the years contributed to the general lack of interest in various subjects by students.
As such, the use of practical (real life) examples while introducing new concepts or subjects may go a long way in maintaining and enhancing the level of interest exhibited by students towards a given subject (McGee and Morrow, 2005).
This goes to show that implementing a student centered strategy of teaching is among the key tools that can be used by teachers to improve and maintain interest in any given subject.
Assertiveness training is one of the styles of learning that is believed to greatly enhance a person’s effectiveness in the communication process therefore leading to the most desirable outcomes.
Bedell and Lennox (1997) articulate that assertiveness promotes interpersonal behavior that “attempts to maximize the person’s satisfaction of wants while considering the wants of other people.”
Assertion emphasizes on positive interpersonal relationship by providing a basis from which conflicts can be resolved in a constructive and respectful manner.
Assertive training is based on the assumption that effective communication is a learned behavior and as such, people who do not naturally possess it can be equipped to develop this skill (Weiten et.al. 2008). Assertive training involves correcting individuals’ perceived deficits in expression of thoughts and feelings.
This training is therefore a mode through which positive social and learning skills can be developed and negative ones repressed (Malahmah-Thomas, 1987).
While lack of assertiveness affects all human beings across both sides of the gender divide, research has it that this problem is more common among females because they are socialized to be more submissive than males. While this does not imply that men cannot benefit from assertive training, women stand to gain the most.
One of the byproducts of assertive training is the increase in self-esteem of the individual (Wilson & Gallois, 1993). This is because assertive communication is based on the understanding that we all have a right to be afforded respect and we also bear the responsibility to reciprocate this respectfulness to others.
Studies indicate that lack of assertiveness is mostly an indication of a low self-esteem which leads to someone considering their opinions not worth to be expressed or responded to by others. Assertion training overrides this self-defeating attitude and restores one’s self-esteem therefore creating a path to emotional and mental health.
Weiten et al (2008) stipulate that one of the objectives of assertive training is to help people decrease their anxiety levels. Once the anxiety in a person has been reduced, one is more likely to demonstrated positive communication and learning traits such as improved eye contact.
Nonproductive behavior such as drumming one’s fingers on the table or playing with hands can also be eliminated. This will greatly assist in effective communication and concentration in class since such behaviors are mostly interpreted as disinterest by the other party thus undermining the communication and learning efforts.
As human beings we are different in our own special ways and as such we vary in intelligence as well as mannerisms. Some are slow learners and others fast and others prefer written material to verbal or visual presentations (Oxford, 2004).
With this I mind, it is important that we discuss other methods that are used by people to learn and the different types of intelligence that we posses.
Visual learners are people who learn best by using their eyes. They prefer visual displays such as charts, illustrated textbooks, videos and hand outs (Jones, 2003). They prefer sitting in front of the class where there is minimal obstructions to their view. This type of learners tends to relate and perceive things in a pictorial manner.
They are mostly lifelong learners because they hardly forget what they have learnt because they use everything they see as a memory bank. As such, role playing may be a good strategy to encourage them to participate in class.
The other type of learners is called auditory learners. These types of people acquire most of their knowledge through verbal lectures, exchanging ideas and listening to what others have to say (Courter et al, 1995). They often benefit the most from reading aloud or listening to recorded audio or visual lectures.
Written information to them therefore has very little meaning because it takes longer for them to process. In all classifications of learners they are the most disadvantaged.
This is because as they progress upwards in their schools the application of their preferred method of learning becomes minimal and if not addressed, they end up facing difficulties and perform poorly in their endeavors.
The third type of learners is the tactile/kinesthetic learners. As the name suggest, they learn best through a hands on approach. They benefit the most from exploring their surroundings, practical learning and touching.
They often have a hard time settling down or even sitting through a class as they are constantly distracted by their insatiable need to explore and experiment. In subjects where they have to settle down, they prefer writing down notes so as to understand the lessons.
Simply because a person has a dominant learning style does not necessarily mean that they are doomed or limited to their specific learning styles. Their weaknesses can be greatly improved through training (Funderstanding, 2001).
This can be done by helping them enhance their cognitive skills are which the building blocks to all learning styles. Without these skills a person cannot effectively use or take advantage of other learning styles and this may consequently lead to failure in performance and even intellectual degradation.
It is therefore the duty of the supervisors to ensure that all students despite their weaknesses learn how to make good of their weaknesses. For example, if a student is a visual learner he can be trained on how best to utilize their learning skills and incorporate them during other lessons which require a different method.
Motivation is defined as a “process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals” (Kondalkar 2002, p.245).
Bearing in mind the fact that the educator is tasked with marshaling the school’s resources to accomplish some stipulated goal, it can be rightfully stated that part of the role of the educator is to motivate the students to achieve certain desired goals.
It is the role of the educator to ensure that the students have a high degree of motivation in their performance. Teachers can therefore use verbal cues to compliment a student who participates accordingly or give rewards to those that show improvement in their work.
Most people are bound to compare their performances to that of other people in the same situation that they are in. This is also the case in the school environment where the students constantly compare themselves with students both within and outside of the school setting (Skehan, 1989).
An educator who is conversant with the Equity theory will be in a better position to manage the students and maximize their performance. The Equity theory is a social comparison theory which states that a balance of outputs to inputs is the goal that people are motivated to achieve (Tileston, 2007).
Knowledge of such a theory will enable a teacher to be better at his job since he will seek to ensure that students do not feel like they are under rewarded or pressured.
Tileston (2007) highlights that a student who feels that the ration of outcomes to inputs are equal is likely to be satisfied with the exchange relationship he/she has with his educator.
However, if the student has a perception of inequity and he feels that he/she is giving more and the outcome is less, the person can reduce his input efforts. This will hurt the learning process since success can only be achieved if each student is performing optimally.
An educator who is well versed with this motivational theory will ensure that at any one time, the students perceive the ration of their inputs being equal to the outcomes that they obtain from the school.
Small Group Instruction
Small groups instructions are instructions offered to a small group (generally made up of two to six students) independent of the large class group. The group size is purposeful so that the teacher can focus on the student’s skill and make notes on responses.
Small groups discussions can help to encourage metacognition and higher level of comprehension among the students engaged in the group. This is especially so through the use of reciprocal teaching which encourages the students to construct meaning from texts.
Israel (2005) asserts that small groups have been used to assist delayed readers catch up and in some cases even exceed typically developed readers.
Strengths of Small Group Instructions
Small-groups give the educators a means through which they can group students based on their strengths and needs (Orlich et al, 2009). This is because small groups enable the teacher to select groups of students who demonstrate similar academic needs and learning styles.
The teacher is therefore in a position to tailor their teachings to provide specific instructions that best challenge all learners in the group.
This would not be possible in whole-class instructions since the whole class will compose of students with varying strengths and needs. By use of small groups, the teacher can give the support that is needed to specific student’s to allow them to expand their understanding.
Small groups enable an educator to best manage their time. This is because small groups are flexible and fluid in nature and the frequency with which a teacher meets with a group and the time he/she dedicates with the group varies in accordance with the assignment at hand and the particular needs of the group (Killen, 2007).
As such, a teacher can spend less time with a group composed of fast learners and more time with a group which is struggling with new concepts.
Learning centers can be viewed as a method through which learning is individualized and personalized. Learning centers compose of activities that are specially made for individual students and small groups.
Israel (2005, p.109) reveals that learning centers are designed to “enable individuals or small groups of students to interact with course content after the teacher has taught the focus lesson or while the teacher is leading small-group sessions”.
Strengths of Learning Centers
A positive outcome of learning centers is that they provide teachers with more time to assist students practice on content that the teacher has previously taught (Hall, Strangman and Meyer, 2003).
One of the complaints that every teacher has is that there is never enough time to effectively cover the content of the curriculum within the typical school year. By use of learning centers, the teacher can counter this by creating more time to revisit previous content that may not have been understood by the students.
Learning centers also give the teacher an opportunity to make learning more exiting and also provide students with more hand-on activities to increase their proficiency on certain taught content (King-Sears, 2007).
In the regularly allotted class time, the teacher is hard pressed for time and he/she may not be in a position to indulge the students in hands on activities or more examples on the subject being taught.
This may result in students having only a vague understanding of the content taught. Learning centers present the perfect means through which the teacher can provide better explanations and break things down for the students (Killen, 2006).
One of the realities that teachers face is that the students learn at different rates and have varied learning styles. Oxford (1996) states that learning centers assist teachers to fit various instructional components with the varied learning rates exhibited by students.
This is possible though the designing and implementation of learning centers that “provide instructional extensions for all types of learners” (King-Sears, 2007). Learning centers can provide the students possessing varied learning abilities with the opportunity to increases their proficiency in skills they may have acquired through previous lessons.
The students may also learn how to apply the knowledge and skills to new scenarios through the many experiments and extra activities that are availed to them in the learning centers.
This paper set out to discuss the various strategies that can be implemented by educators in a bid to increase the level of interest exhibited by students in various subjects. To this end, various strategies and tools that can be used to achieve this have been described and explained.
In addition, a demonstration of how some of the toolds can indeed help teachers provide a positive outlook towards various subjects has also been offered.
From this study, it is clear that learning centers and small groups can be used to efficiently provide differentiated instructions to students. Scaffolding can also be used both in small group instruction and learning centers to increase the proficiency of students.
From the discussions presented herein it is evident that teaching strategies result in some challenges to the students but especially to the teachers.
In particular, the two strategies (learning centers and small groups) have been shown to require a lot of time and effort investment by the teacher who are hard pressed for time.
Nevertheless, it has been shown that the strategies have great payoffs in terms of greatly improved student’s performance. It is therefore worthwhile for educators to bear with the challenges posed since the payoffs are great.
Bedell, J. and Lennox, S., 1997. Handbook for Communication and Problem-solving Skills Training: a Cognitive-behavioral Approach. Los Angeles: John Wiley and Sons.
Courter, S. et al., 1995. Strategies for Effective Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Assistants. Web.
Emtech., 2003. Learning Theories. Web.
Frey, B. and Jegen, R., 2001. Motivation Crowding Theory. Journal of economic surveys, 15 (5).
Funderstanding., 2001. About Learning – Multiple Intelligences. Web.
Hall, T. Strangman, N. and Meyer, A., 2003. Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation. Web.
Israel, S., 2005. Metacognition in literacy learning: theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development. California: Routledge.
Jones, T., 2003. Methods of Teaching and Learning. Web.
Killen, R., 2006. Effective teaching strategies. Australia: Cengage Learning.
Killen, R., 2007. Teaching Strategies for Outcomes-based Education. USA: Juta and Company Ltd, 2007.
King-Sears, M., 2007. Designing and Delivering Learning Center Instruction. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42 (3), pp.137-147.
Kondalkar, P., 2002. Organization effectiveness and change management. USA: PHI learning Pvt. Ltd.
MacKeracher, D., 2004. Making Sense of Adult Learning. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Malahmah-Thomas, A., 1987. Classroom Interaction. USA: OUP.
McGee, M. and Morrow, M., 2005. Teaching literacy in kindergarten. USA: Guilford Press.
Orlich, D. et al., 2009. Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction. New York: Cengage Learning.
Oxford, R., 1996. Language Learning Strategies around the World: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Manoa: University of Hawaii.
Oxford, R., 2004. Teaching and Researching. Language Learning Strategies. New York: Longman.
Skehan, P., 1989. Individual Differences in Second Language Learning. California: Edward Arnold.
Stigler, J. and Stevenson, W., 1991. How Asian Teachers Polish Each Lesson to Perfection. USA: American Educator.
Tileston, D., 2007. Teaching strategies for active learning: five essentials for your teaching plan. New York: Corwin Press.
Weiten, W. et al., 2008. Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. New York: Cengage Learning.
Wilson, K. and Gallois, C., 1993. Assertion and its Social Context. California: Routledge.