Going Around Learning Obstacles: Portages
Portaging while kayaking refers to boaters carrying their gear on shore around an obstacle that is too large to paddle around. In a learning situation, portaging can occur when students need to go around a learning task that is above their abilities, such as when they attempt to read a text above their reading level or are comparing complex mathematical calculations. Portaging can also occur when students or teachers are feeling overwhelmed and need to stay on shore longer to rebuild their mental and emotional resources. After portaging around these obstacles, students and teachers can reenter the river with renewed focus and enthusiasm. Cautions of when to portage, as compared to using other learning strategies to work through difficult social justice material, are also shared.
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