Oleh: Redaksi e-Newsletterdisdik | November 13, 2007



By : Endah Yulia Rahayu *)

It is unbeatable notion if all children have to enter school to prepare themselves for their bright future. We do agree that they are surely expected to be intellectual and professional when they leave their school. It is the hope of all parents, schools, public leaders and certainly all dignitaries.However their expectation is not always easily realized as there are many listless and disruptive students creating trouble in their class that undeniably upset their colleagues, teachers, parents and school stakeholders. Many experts recommend separating them or even expelling them from their school and noble education system in order to sterilize the compliant and obedient students from their messy acts. Is it fair enough for them? How disobedient and badly behaved, they are also part of our society members who have equal rights to have education services and public affection. Referring to the national education system law of the Republic of Indonesia no 20 stipulated in 2003, segregating the naughty students from their environment will be against the law as it requires equal education opportunity for all Indonesian citizens – developing their high potential in spiritual, social, interpersonal, interpersonal intelligences and other life skills which they must have in their live.In the following discussion, I will present how to handle these trouble students through some education and psychological approach, which finally urge all the educator enthusiasts to love all their protégées, in order to comprehend and help them more. Why Listless and Distributive students? As education is universal and is a live demand, all parties are required to aid children in learning their lesson in schools. Therefore, there has been great concern about children who fail to become literate, and much research into the causes of children’s inability to read and how to overcome it. There has been little sympathy for the psychological reasons why a child may passively resist or actively refuse to become literate, despite the obvious advantages that literacy offers. Educator Bruno Bettleheim in his book On Learning to Read, pleaded to look at the “valid” psychological reasons why students fail. He reckoned that the missing component in educating of the whole children was the education practitioners’ lack of understanding why children not wanting to learn.

As educators, parents and observers we often see students who are passive and afraid to try. They seem futile and they easily give up trying. These students develop self-defeating strategies, which eventually lead to the very failures that they are attempting to avoid. They accomplish only tasks that require little effort. They are depressed and feel they are “too stupid” to learn so why they feel doing the school assignments is too much hurt and burdens. These children have learned helplessness and they become listless and distributive students in their classroom.

Basically, learned helplessness creates three basic deficits in the students – cognitive, emotional, and motivational that destroy their desire to learn. The motivational deficit stops their learning by abandoning the students’ initiation of voluntary responses. These students have learned to be helpless to learn and it is not a moral choice. The learned helpless student believes he/she has no control over the learning process and after many failures they give up trying. This deficit finally halts their motivation
to learn which disturb the acquisition of new information or knowledge – cognitive.

These students build a system of responses that does not work effectively for their learning process. The longer they are in this situation, the greater the number of times the students will have practiced inappropriate responses, day after day, year after year.

Thus we have to aiding these students by recognizing the components of their learned helplessness to overcome it, helping them to discover the root beliefs and the distorted perceptions they create which cause their self-defeating deficits and finally giving them the tools to change and refute his distorted beliefs and in the end, reduce their deficits.

Handling Listless and disruptive students with Love Listless students, who have hardly attention to their lessons, get little and even no understanding to their study. In the class, they are mostly passive and silent and frequently like playing truant. As they are lack of motivation and spirit to stay in the class, their friends surely think they are stupid and their teachers consider them weak and dull learners. This downbeat opinion affects these trouble students that they are not welcomed in their environment. As a result some of them have become inevitably aggressive – disruptive students, particularly from those who come from the less fortunate family.

As the title “naughty” is attached to them, they are getting naughtier in order to show their entity by disturbing their peers. They are happy if they can scary their colleges or annoy their classroom teachers with their ill manners. These distributive students do these misbehave is actually to show their existence in their league member. It is the trait of human being to be recognized by their association. These students also want to show their existence to their league in any ways they can of which probably offend other league members. They might be not aware of this insulting manner to others as they are still less experience and may not obtain the information how to get together amongst the members of their association. It is the challenge for all education enthusiast and school stakeholders to change them to be
better-civilized students.

Therefore it is not their intention to be misbehaving protégées since they merely to flag presence amongst their league members. We cannot blindly claim all listless and disruptive learners have less motivation in their study because there are many smart people having some emotional problems who will definitely affront other individuals. For example in the class after they finish their assignment, they can’t stay quietly, as a result they will be fetching and then bothering their peers who are still busy doing their class tasks. This is surely ill manner, which needs to be abolished as it will be very bad for themselves and others.

Some other students are lazy to do the teachers assignment because it is not worth to for their future. Usually this case happens at the students coming from the less educated, illiterate and misfortunate family, who never motivate their offspring’s to respect education and let alone the practice of social etiquette. It is obvious as they
are still lacking their primary needs so the seniors never concern about education and social etiquette that are worth for their life. Thus these important aspects are never thought to their juniors.

So the premise here the listless and less motivated students are actually not always naughty and stupid. They just need special attention and care from the educated and mature adults, education practitioners and school stakeholders. The attention and care will be given if they love these trouble students because they are also human beings created by The Almighty. If these intelligent people are aware that these students are born in this world have their own divinely function and task to prosper the world, they will absolutely love these students. Their love enables them reveal and resolve each of the student problems.

It is noble and virtuosi task for teachers and education professionals to make these students better. As they pay special attention to those deficient in motivation and emotional aptitude, they manage to detect bothering students who are short of cognitive competency at earliest and next solve their problems professionally.

Special attention is automatically given to these trouble students if there is a love in the hearth of teachers. Thus, they can help their students’ problem in learning the subject in school. They can notice that these students are actually having enthusiast and capacity to study their school subject but they have difficulty to learn and absorb the lesson. When they fail to acquire the lesson they will be depressed of which stem to miss-behaves such as drug abuse, free sex, juvenile delinquency and many more of which basically they are merely looking for acceptance, support, affection, encouragement and other basic human needs fulfillment.

The above-mentioned problem commonly occurs to the students who became troublemakers in their class. In this case the class teachers have to be sensitive to identify what type of mischief is in their class. Many troublemakers have a high intelligent score. They will be judged bad, distractive and even not competent in the class since they always cause problems. There are many factors why they are committed to these minor criminal acts.

Therefore teachers, parents and all society components have to pay attention to motivated, emotional and cognitive deficit students who become listless and disruptive learners, particularly to overcome their learning problems. This will be “easy task” for us if we love them. We can apologize their insulted acts and mend our bad feeling when they are frequently neglecting the lesson, offending their teachers, upsetting friends and finally despising the school reputation in the public community. We understand they just impose their existence to get others attention and finally obtaining recognition by others. These acts are not sinful by all level if they are not
disturbing others. Therefore it is our big job to help them to be better and compliant students, with our sincerely love.

Reference :

  1. UU Sistem Pendidikan Nasional RI No 20 th.2003, 10
    Maret 2006. Available at
  2. Bettleheim, Bruno (1982) On Learning to Read, Knopt
  3. Seligman, Martin P. (1990) Learned Optimism, Pocket
    Book, New York, NY

*) Endah Yulia Rahayu, Dosen Universitas Adi Buana Surabaya

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