Timmy's Learned Helplessness in Math

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Timmy's Learned Helplessness in Math by Mind Map: Timmy's Learned Helplessness in Math

1. Overview of information on website's infographic

1.1. Definition of learned helplessness: a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed

1.2. Explain how learned helplessness affects a student's motivation in his or her math class and how the results of learned helplessness confirm the student's bias.

2. Introduce Timmy, the fictional middle school student experiencing learned helplessness in his math class

2.1. Timmy is in the seventh grade.

2.2. Timmy has a C in math and feels discouraged. His grade is continuing to drop.

3. Explain his parents' and teacher's reactions to his grade

3.1. His parents lecture him about how he needs to work harder.

3.2. His teacher expresses concern and thinks he simply doesn't care about his grades.

4. Explain the outcome of the negative feedback

4.1. His parents' and teacher's criticisms are not constructive. They simply lower Timmy's confidence in his ability to improve.

4.2. His grades continue to lower until he ultimately gives up and fails his math class at the end of the year.

5. Explain a better alternative for how his parents and teacher could have responded.

5.1. His parents could have recognized his small achievements in his math class, such as completing his homework on time or asking questions, and encouraged him to repeat those positive habits.

5.2. His teacher could have talked to Timmy and asked him if there is anything happening that is making this class more difficult and what she could to do help. She should start the conversation by recognizing that he is working hard, but struggling to keep up.

6. Explain how the alternative reactions would be better for Timmy.

6.1. Timmy would see that his parents are not only paying attention to his failures and he would understand that every little positive effort he makes truly matters, so he would continue these behaviors.

6.2. Timmy would know that his teacher does not view him as a bad or lazy student and therefore, he would view himself as the hard worker that he is. With this frame of mind, he would continue to work hard, for he would know that he is not simply destined to fail this class.

6.3. Timmy brings his grade up to a high B by the end of the semester.

7. What can Timmy do for himself?

7.1. Timmy should reach out to his teacher and classmates for tutoring and use online tutoring resources such as Khan Academy.

7.2. Timmy should keep in mind that if he continues to work hard, use his resources, and finish his assignments, he can definitely bring his grade up.

7.3. Timmy should be open with his parents and teacher about what specifically he is struggling with so they will know where he needs more help.

8. This video will be an animation using Powtoons.