As for Dwayne:
Dwayne is a classic underachiever, living with his brother. He delivers pizza for his rent money. When asked to come up with a goal for himself, his first instinct is humor: “A solid gold pizza?” he says, brightly. But when Dwayne is pressed, he reveals a way of thinking that many adult learners have developed. “Why come up with a goal at all? I mean, I can’t really do anything good.”
Dwayne’s wild imagination also adds an air of surreal humor to the passGED virtual classroom. “Commas are the boringest thing I can think of,” says Dwayne. “So when we had to be studying commas, I decided that I’d be a Samurai warrior: “The Great Comma Warrior,” slashing up sentences with the mighty comma. Whack! Slash! Whack! Come on you sentences. Let me slice you up! Oh, err, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, I mean, then commas weren’t so boring anymore.”
With crazy hair and a fun sense of style, Dwayne certainly stands out in the virtual classroom. Dwayne exhibits a visual learning style and a tendency to jump to conclusions. “I guess I don’t always think things through,” he says, “but sometimes just pick what seems right off the top of my head. I guess I’m learning that you’ve got to slow down and think about things. And sometimes do some work.”
Watching Dwayne struggle with thinking through problems helps passGED users learn how to think about math, reading, writing, and critical thinking. Through adding humor, Dwayne also makes lessons more memorable. He adds enjoyment and substance to students’ learning experiences. We all learn from mistakes–and Dwayne gives us a lot to learn from.