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Coursework: Lessons from the Links BY STEPHEN DARE

For as long as I can remember I have had a love/hate relationship with golf. I hate it because I never seem to get proficient enough to know if I will ever hit the ball consistently, and I love it because of the chance to be outdoors in some beautiful scenery, away from the computer and in the company of good friends. That’s more than enough motivation to play a half dozen or so times a year! I admit there have been numerous occasions when I have asked myself why on earth I had chosen to wake up at 5 a.m. in order to wander around in 35 degree heat following a tiny white ball that had gone in a direction I had not intended it to go. During my more reflective moments, I have also wondered why I willingly persisted with something that was so difficult and what motivated me to keep trying?

In a classroom context it is much the same story for our students as they are confronted with a host of challenges on a daily basis. Some of these challenges they will find manageable and engaging, and might even evolve into personal passions. Others seem so difficult that students want to avoid them altogether and simply give up. One of our jobs as educators is to give each student access to a broad range of learning experiences on a daily basis and to present those experiences in a way that encourages risk-taking and perseverance. We want these experiences to be ones that could eventually develop into life-long interests. To do this we must recognize the importance of self-esteem and personal well-being in our learners and encourage


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