Jian Yi Soh

Department of Paediatrics, Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children’s Medical Institute, National University Hospital, Singapore


Teachers in various settings worldwide meet with a variety of learners. Some are adept and master their lessons quickly; some less so; and some have persistent difficulties with their lessons. The difficulties can extend beyond the academic; conduct, professionalism and resilience are all important, especially in undergraduate and postgraduate learners. Inability to accept poor results, to admit failure so as to learn from it, can create learners who become withdrawn and resistant to constructive feedback and sincere attempts to help them. “No insight” and “unmotivated” are common terms used in the hallways and discussion rooms to describe these learners. Based on these twin assumptions, teachers strive to extend more help, more resources and more constructive feedback to these learners, and often find that there is little or no improvement despite the vast amounts of energy and time expended.

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