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Explanation or Excuse?



         1. something that explains; a statement made to clarify something and make it              understandable; exposition



1. an apology for; seek to remove the blame of.

In classrooms we hear a multitude of excuses and explanations. The problem is, sometimes it is hard to differentiate between the two.

A colleague of mine has been having difficulty with a student this last week – unmotivated, defiant and ‘too cool’ to participate in many activities. We found out that it’s because his dad is away for work. 

“My dad is away” is an explanation, but it’s not an excuse – we can’t really blame dad for this problem. We all have personal lives that can impact on our work and students are no different. However, it is about encouraging these students to persist, think outside the square and try to gather the skills to needed to solve these problems.

How do we help students solve problems? Problem-Based Learning isn’t just meeting curriculum requirements, it’s about up-skilling our students to be resilient in their lives. The problems that they have are broader than just the classroom walls.


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