Improving student self-control through research-based strategies

Educators are responsible for teaching and nurturing students to grow into knowledgeable and holistic individuals.

Often education is associated with the transmission of knowledge through the teaching of subjects described in the program. Core skills and values ​​may be overlooked or not covered comprehensively in educational institutions. This often leaves students learning these essential societal skills through the experiences and guidance of those around them.

One of these skills is self-control. Self-control is essential to decision-making by controlling temperament and contributes significantly to a person’s emotional well-being. It is an important aspect in learning and developing discipline in students to achieve better results, both in the classroom and in everyday life. It improves the student’s concentration, ability to complete tasks as well as overall academic performance.

Students at advanced levels of education are expected to have a greater capacity for self-control as opposed to primary school students, for example. This can be attributed to additional years of learning and development for students in middle School. While it is understood that children have a sense of curiosity with limited rationality, however, it is important to introduce self-control at an early stage to foster a culture of self-discipline.

The role of research in identifying and attempting to fill essential skills gaps among students is quite significant. Research-based approaches to learning offer proven alternatives that promise to improve student behavior while producing better learning outcomes.

Here are some of the research-based strategies that can be incorporated into learning;

Establish trust: An environment where a child feels safe around the adult responsible for caring for him is important. Children will often be at their best around those they trust and hold in high regard. This includes showing that they have self-control. Understanding students and finding ways to push through and attract them is important to building trust.

Consistency: Children can be curious when asked to refrain from doing something. They would like to understand why they shouldn’t do it or what would happen if they did. As adults, we are expected to consistently give the most reasonable explanations in the most caring manner. This way, a child can understand that boundaries are set for their benefit.

Reward: A child is more likely to express self-control when there is a reward at the end of the line. Unlike punishment for bad behavior, rewards are often more effective in promoting positive change in student behavior because it is a motivator. Punishment, on the other hand, fosters fear and sometimes a lack of confidence.

Set clear rules and expectations: Create an environment where students are aware and understand what is expected of them. This provides a criterion for what is considered good behavior. It also helps students understand what they can and cannot do and thus promotes self-control.

Develop a culture of self-control early on education will go a long way in helping students make better decisions in the future and deal with challenges they may face later in life.


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