I agree that mastery requires persistence, but that is not all that is needed. Interestingly, persistence is one of the 16 Habits of Mind developed by Costa and Kallick (2000), which are all strategies for overcoming difficulties in the classroom. The caveat here is that the student needs to acquire the disposition toward wanting to overcome the ‘problem’ and be prepared to apply one or more of the Habits of Mind to achieve success in the problem. In terms of the topic ‘My child is not interested in learning’, perhaps this is not the whole story. Perhaps they don’t have the tools to be successful, or perhaps they have the tools but cannot apply them appropriately, which in turn leads to lack of confidence or self-efficacy. This can be detrimental to student learning. How can this be addressed?
I agree with the concept of child/student interest. As a teacher in an all-boys’ school I see that many boys would rather be out running around than focussing on the board. So what about those interests? What about the students’ other activities? Before students enter our classrooms they have had any number of years of accumulating experiences which form their schema. Are we as teachers accessing this previous experience to aid learning or are we dismissing it? Are there previous (or current, extracurricular) experiences in which students have some degree of success? What about sport? Almost every child on the planet has played sport or undertaken some form of physical activity, whether structured or unstructured. This provides a global platform from which to improve student learning in the classroom. Let's engage, and help students to engage, that experience!
What boots do you wear is not a question about shoes. It is my own question about student achievement, where I investigate the methods (and the Habits of Mind) student-athletes use to overcome difficulties in their sporting endeavours, and then the degree to which they are able to transfer and adapt those skills to achieve success in the classroom.
Metacognition (also one of the Habits) is vital. Students can learn that while on the face of it, football is fundamentally different to, say, Mathematics, there are certain structural elements which are similar. How did that athlete overcome the opposition to score the goal? What factors need to be dealt with accurately in order to achieve success? Accurate passing, timing, creativity, teamwork, listening to coaches etc. are all tactical requirements (and Habits of Mind) necessary for success in football. If that student then enters the Math class and approaches an unfamiliar problem and can ‘see’ it in terms of football, i.e. breaking down the task into individual elements that need to be addressed, can she or he feel some sense of confidence and be able to tackle the problem (excuse the pun), rather than sitting back and being labelled as disinterested?