Fostering student success is less like turning on a light switch, and more like growing a garden. It’s a developmental process that takes time and is influenced by multiple factors:
Time Course: Effective learning is a collection of behaviors that depends on abilities and habits that take time to develop. For example, even if a student decides to study more, it might take her time to realize that she has to start going to the library after school instead of going back to a distracting home environment. Therefore, even if a student is more inclined to be engaged, it might take time for those desires to translate into the habits and study skills that are markers of effective learning.
Multiple Determinants: Good gardeners try to ensure that their plants are provided the right combination of water, sunlight, and nutrients because all three are necessary for plants to thrive. No single factor is sufficient by itself. In the same way, multiple conditions are needed for students to fully engage and thrive as learners. To create an engaging and equitable learning environment, work in partnership with your students to establish all of the conditions they need to be fully engaged and successful.