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Study with Interest as Long as You Can

Homelearning may be fit for almost everybody. Good parts of the principles in this little series of articles may be fit for it, and for homeschooling of children and young adults too. Some parts of the articles could help students too. [Homelearning]

Learning is eased by interest, proper amounts of time for learning work, and many periods of rest spaced out between learning sessions. Overlearning and sound repetition work helps some people too -

Study what you are interested in and amount to master by a step-by-step approach or otherwise. Basics of study can benefit.

Basically, interest may be fine if you let it work for you. Interest is natural, but not always the most priorotised part of formal schooling. Try and be honest with yourself and others, to the degree you can. It may even be a "best policy" eventually.

Not everything that children and young adults learn in school is due to keen interest on their part. As a result, artificial motivations like grade systems and compulsory attendance get established - and these measures of formal schooling may actually harm the interest.

Talents may be encouraged at home, then. Home schooling may be fine, whereas sound talents that do not fit in in formal schooling, may breed frustration.

To get an inkling of deeper interests in you, not artificial ones stemming from accomodations or dismal conformity, check what you naturally do if you get a chance to apply yourself, see what you get energetic about, what excites you and your curiousity.

Perhaps you need to search for or adhere to sides of you without flinching when others mock you as silly for it. If such things happen, conditions are not easy, and may not be conductive to your thriving and true welfare either. For humans have many dormant, higher needs, says Abraham Maslow. You need to cater to yours in time, when it is fit. Many people do not do it. [Link]

A sensible approach is what you are given

A rather sturdy approach to study is rooted in both research and experience. Individual experience counts a lot too. Thus, you're encouraged to develop an approach that fits you under the circumstances. [See Buzan 1988:4]

Think of these four ingredients:

  1. Yourself and where your interests lie (persons are different);
  2. What you take on to study, ie the text, or chapter, or whatever.
  3. How you process it to get it into you head and maybe further, into maturing or practical mastery (study methodology);
  4. How delicate you are.

How To Survey Textbooks

Every little helps. Survey, peruse - gather and formulate interesting goals. The following is common knowledge:

  1. Read the title to get an inkling.
  2. Read the introduction and/or summary - focus on the most important points.
  3. Notice the boldface headings and subheadings to organise and 'pattern' your dear mind somewhat before you begin to read
  4. Check graphics - charts, maps, diagrams - you should not miss them.
  5. Notice the reading aids - italics, bold face print, chapter objective, end-of-chapter questions - are all included to help you sort, comprehend, and remember.

THERE ARE very good reasons to hail good study, for it can be hard work. Much time will be needed for it. Proficient study consists in bringing little bits of information into the long-term memory, (LTM), and to do it can be a much cumbersome and slow-moving process, it has been shown. Data bits and chunks into one's LTM seems to be just 1-2 bits per second. Quality information may consist of compounds of bits, as with word definitions. In the light of this, maybe ten data chunks per minute marks the capacity. However, the exact processing speed is not settled on.

Suffice for now to draw attention to that the good learning process takes very much time and may not be stepped up a lot, and requires plenty of considerate rest (pauses) tointegrate new bits of information with old ones. Some also consider sleep to be an important factor in establishing well-organized long-term memories.

The problem solver may start with a concrete problem in some present situation and try to do something to alter it in the hope of moving closer to a goal. However, "one can easily veer off on a tangent or arrive at a dead end", says Dale Schunk. [2012:306]

What becomes stored in the LTM, is there largely as essential meanings. It is good to know that different types of memory are stored in different regions of the brain. Theoretical knowledge and skills differ in how they are stored. Impressions can last for a few days or decades. It can be good to memorise new material about four times spaced out over a couple of weeks, and then go on to memorise more seldom. LTM differs from working memory (short-term memory), which keeps information for only around 20 seconds in average. Data can be transferred into the LTM by rehearsals (memorisation, spaced repetitions) and meaningful association, and strong impressions generally. When something is stored in the LTM, the structure of neurons is altered, and synapses among brain neurons are activated patternwise.

The brain stores long term information by growing additional synapses between neurons. Basic information on how to use your brain is a boon in this venture, plus meticulous attention to organised learning sessions of your own making, study the methods that Tony Buzan has called organic study. Self-centred study is the same; it is another term for the same thing. [cf. Buzan 1988:4]

As for technology sides of the venture, it tends to help to survey a book or a work before deciding to read it. Such scanning enables you to get a more complete grasp, making in-depth reading much more favourable, or easier. Similarly, it usually helps accessing the content of a chapter if there is a brief summary of it at the beginning. A short summary at the end may come in handy too. One reason is that your memory changes during learning. Its content may be reworked both consciously and subconsciously on accessing and drawing upon it. [cf Mum 3] ◊

You're encouraged to form "mental pictures" of your thoughts, because the visual memory has been found to be nearly perfect in some ways, and probably helps most people. However, there are differences among us - allow for that too. [see Mum 3]

Study methods (ie valid study technology) can produce dramatic results. [cf Buzan 1988:4]

YOU SHOULD also know that keywords that you write down yourself can help the study more than long abstracts and less convenient note-taking [Link].

I guess some moderate and sensible approach pays. Self-rewards in the study may be fit too.

Other methods too may work, or give occasional help, as "People use different problem-solving operators, depending on their interpretation of the logical connective if. [Anderson 1995:16]." [cf. Buzan 1988:4] ◊ [T+]

In sum: you may learn to prosper thus:

  1. Fix your attention on the study at hand and move on toward solving the task you have set for yourself. That can help
  2. You are encouraged to get more allied with your subconscious levels of mind that many a student otherwise. Like a rest or a nap at intervals that work for you. Half an hour's intervals may be OK.
  3. Study for mastery is helped by keywords to recall. It helps memorisation. Idea maps are fit for relating keywords and key phrases to one another, and adding new ideas as you develop the maps (charts) and a network of quite related mental associations.

Tick tack tao as meaningful learning technology, END MATTER

Tick tack tao as meaningful learning technology, LITERATURE  

Anderson, John R. Cognitive Psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. New York: Freeman, 1995.

Buzan, Tony. Make the Most of Your Mind. Rev. ed. London: Pan, 1988.

Gelb, Michael J. How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. New York: Delta / Random House, 2004.

Gross, Ronald. Peak Learning: How to Create Your Own Lifelong Education Program for Personal Enlightenment and Professional Success. Rev. ed. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1999.

Gross, Ronald. Socrates' Way: Seven Master Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2002.

Schunk, Dale. Learning Theories. An Educational Perspective. 6th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2012.

Schunk, Dale, Judith Meece and Paul Pintrich. Motivation in Education: Theory, Research and Applications. 4th ed. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education, 2014.

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