What hinders learning in upper comprehensive school?

Ella Vihanto did a student internship in the CICERO Learning network during fall 2017. One of her tasks, appointed by professor Minna Huotilainen, was to conduct a poll among teenagers who were about to or had recently finished upper comprehensive school (years 7-9 in the Finnish education system). The aim was to map students' thoughts on what hinders or prevents learning.

This is a summary of Vihanto's findings in English. The full blog text is available in Finnish.

Many students mentioned lack of interest and motivation as the main hindrance for learning at school. The reasons for losing interest were varied, but often they had to do with teachers and their pedagogic style. Many students thought the transition from lower comprehensive school wasn’t easy: teaching tended to be less engaging, while the contents got more advanced and demanded deeper understanding.

Another theme that came up often in the poll was the general attitude to studying. The prevalent attitude of one’s peer group may be against studying and succeeding. This can affect an individual student’s attitudes, lower classroom activity in general, and add unrest during teaching.

A third obstacle that was mentioned in the poll was lack of sleep.