How to change attitudes in learning situation?

Attitude is a special type of mental readiness to respond against any person, thing or event. In attitude, a readiness to respond against a thing or event is found in a person on the dimensions of favorableness–un-favorableness. For example, if the attitude of a student is favorable towards art, then his attitude will also be favorable for artists, colors, paintings, museums, etc. In the same way if a student’s attitude is unfavorable towards art, then all the different aspects of arts will be insignificant for him and he may express his disliking against it. There are three components in attitude- cognitive component, affective component and behavioral component. The cognitive component comprises of a person’s knowledge about attitude object and faith. In affective component, a pleasant and unpleasant emotion is found in the soul of a person against attitude object and in behavioral component a readiness for a favorable or unfavorable response against his attitude object is organized in a soul of a person. The primary characteristic of attitude is that it is acquired and it affects the different types of learning in the class.

How to change attitudes in learning situation?

Once the attitude is formed, then it becomes little diffi cult to bring change in it; because attitude is 
related to person’s necessity, emotion and self-concept. A change in an attitude means a change in person’s emotions, necessity and self- concept. Perhaps due to these reasons normally the change in attitude is a difficult task. Still, teachers have to face these situations during teaching process. In these conditions teachers have to make a change in the attitude of the students compulsorily and to replace it with a healthier and education oriented attitude for their development. Especially, sometimes it has been seen that sometimes student’s attitude towards education or a particular subject becomes unfavorable due to some reasons. In this condition the student loses interest in education gradually and becomes a problematic student. In these conditions it is necessary and essential for a teacher to have the knowledge of the methods through which he can bring changes in the unfavorable attitude of the students. Some of the methods that will be explained later.

  1. The first step for a teacher before starting attitude changing program is to identify the existing attitudes of a student on different issues.
  2. As attitude is more related with self-concept and personal identification, so comparatively more change can be brought in the attitude through group processes. Wieder (1954) has confirmed this concept in his study. He has found in his study that when students worked in a group and played a role on different issues then on those issues their attitudes at situations has changed more in comparison when a student gets traditional lecture discussion on those issues. Therefore, in schools the program of change in attitude should include more group processes.
  3. Self seen or self experienced events are more effective than book reading or through some unconfirmed listening in the process of change in attitude. A study which was done by Blair, Jones and Simpson in 1962, revealed that when the criminal students were made referees and instructor by the police in a sports competition, then their attitude of hatred and unfaith towards police got changed.
  4. During the process of change in attitude program the teachers should present any fact, event, story etc., in such a way which can directly affect the affective component of the student’s attitude. Until a new feeling is grown to replace the earlier emotions the change of attitude program cannot become successful.
  5. In the change of attitude process, being a specialist, the teacher himself can play an important role. They can make them aware of the lectures by which a change in attitude in an unfavorable direction can be possible. Therefore by advising the students, the teachers can check the attitude of the students towards unfavorable direction and inspire them to change their attitude towards favorable direction.
  6. Students easily accept those attitudes which they feel are the results of their own original thinking. Therefore, teachers should organize the attitude changing program in such a clever way that suggestions presented by them should look like the original thinking of students.
  7. In schools, in the change of attitude program the teachers should invite the guardians and parents of students because if at home the parents does not get satisfied with the suggestions on the attitude changing program or they protest against it or considered it a null statement, then the objective of change of attitude program will not be completed. It parents and guardians take part in attitude changing program and teachers give suggestions in their presence then the attitude changing program will be more successful.
If the teachers include these above facts in attitude changing program, then they will get more success in the desired direction.

A Comparative Study of Attention, Interest and Attitude

Attention, interest and attitude are very much related to each other. From the educational angle there have similarities on two points among them. The first point is that all three are mental process and the second point is that all the three have motivational force.

Attention and interest have a deep relation. Our attention goes to those things, person or event in which we are interested and we do not pay attention to the thing, person or event in which we are not interested. This is the reason why Evans has said, “The act of maintaining attention on a particulars problem or situation, is called interest.” Therefore, it will not be an exaggeration if we say that attention is a similar form of interest and interest is similar form of attention. Therefore, they are two sides of a same coin. However, there are two differences which are given below:

Attention is related with external things but interest can be related with external things as well as with the person itself.

It is not compulsory that a person must be interested in the thing to which he pays attention. Sometimes, due to several reasons, he has to pay attention to the thing or an event in which he is not interested. For instance, some students pay attention to their studies because they are afraid of their guardian or parents not due to their interested. It is clear that in each process of attention, it is not necessary that the process of interest should also be included.

Interest and attitude are also closely related, they both are acquired processes. Similarly, it has been seen that the student have a favorable attitude towards a subject or work in which he is interested and similarly develops a unfavorable attitude towards a subject or work in which he is not interested. Yet there is a difference between the two. Attitude may be favorable or unfavorable but this is not the case in terms of interest. Interest is different in degrees. Student may have less or more interest in some work or event and interest is always positive and cannot be negative. The second difference is that a change in attitude is little difficult, but a change in interest is not so difficult. If appropriate substitute is available, then suddenly the interest of a person can be changed sometimes. The third difference is that attitude has more motivational force as compare to interest and this force is comparatively more stable.

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