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I have an A2 Psychology student (male) who is such a puzzle. - Further Education
FE provision in the UK

Equity's Darling posting in Further Education in the UK
User: furthered (posted by beachcomber)
Date: 2008-10-26 11:47
Subject: I have an A2 Psychology student (male) who is such a puzzle.
Security: Public
Earlier this year, he submitted a coursework draft (due in May 2009, submitted in early June 2008) while he was still an AS student, after the AS exams were over and they returned as A2 kids for a couple of weeks. I gave them some guidance relating to what they could base their coursework on (i.e. what was legitimate and within the boundaries of the specification) and other details like how they could work out which statistical test would be appropriate for them. He submits a first draft in which he achieves close to full marks before we even break up for the Summer holidays. I'm hugely impressed since last year I had students who I still hadn't seen drafts for on May 1st!

He comes back after the Summer, and is full of motivation for about a month. Then something obviously happened and he simply refused to meet all my deadlines. I do set a lot of homework (in this last half term of 8 weeks I've set and collected 9 pieces - with another one set over half term) but the class is very small (only 4 students) and a rebellion of one impacts almost immediately on all others. I chase him for homework, I call home, I get the Head of 6th form involved, I speak to his form tutor, I speak to him on his own about any problems he's got, etc. I am dutiful and professional about the administration of departmental rules relating to deadlines.

Then suddenly - all changes again, and in the last two pieces of homework, he's had 23 and 24 (out of 24) and I seriously am left searching the mark scheme for something - anything - that he's left out to give him something to keep striving for. I couldn't fault his last piece (a difficult question on the function of sleep) and had to give him full marks because I could suggest literally nothing else that he should have included.

I have never had a student who is so capable and so reluctant or unmotivated to engage in the material. He's not naturally gifted - he's not an Oxbridge kid or anything like that either, but I am astonished at how well he's doing and so worried that his loose cannon inclinations will lead to him fucking up on the day because he's peaked too soon in the academic year.

Any advice for me, guys?
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August 2009