12 March 2009

Studying how to study

I must be a bigger dork than expected. As my break before hitting the books for class, I'm reading a book about learning styles and how to study.

Lesson 1: Environment matters. I focus best when I have a large, well lit desk and open sort of environment. Ideal: Fayetteville Public library. It's well lit, and it has large tables in large open rooms with natural lighting.

In my own apartment...I think I need to find a new home for the items on my desk. I need a large work space and the clutter is distracting. As for my personal biorythm...I'm pretty sure the time change messed that up. I'm tired all day and can't get up early to study... and I'm nodding off in my classes.

Lesson 2: Multiple intellegences. Howard Gardner's theory states there are different areas of "intelligence" that activate different parts of the brain. Different people favor different areas. There are now 8 recognized multiple intelligences:
-naturalist - (ability to discriminate among living things...classify and organize etc).

According to the little quizlets online and what not I seem to favor intrapersonal and musical over the other subjects. Being aware and utilizing the multiple intelligences can help make study sessions more effective.

Lesson 3: learning styles. Basically there are hundreds of ways to classify learning styles....some in the book i'm reading are...

- According to Pask:
Top Down/Holist/Global learners - learn by looking at big picture then the details. Forest --> trees
Bottomup/Serialist/Sequential learners -need information presented in an detailed, sequential manner. trees -->forest
Like most people, I'm somewhere in the middle, but I think I tend to favor the "Top Down" learning style. I'm always complaining about getting lost in the details. I also can't remember details as well as anatomy would like for me to. Perhaps I should outline the big picture then fill in the gaps instead of jumping into the details presented during class.

VAKT - Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile
Visual learners -
maybe 65% of population are this. These are the folks that have to write it down. If I don't write it down, it doesn't exist.
Auditory learners - have to hear it. I'm pretty sure this is not me. 30%
kinesthetic - whole body movement, imitation and practice
Tactile - touch-dominant

I seem to be more of a visual/tactile learner. I might as well not go to class most of the time...the book is much more helpful than lectures, but I suppose lectures help too.

Ok...so today during my studies I'll try to keep this stuff in mind. I think next lesson will be about reading effectively.

And now for a little Emily Dickinson

I felt a cleavage in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence raveled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor

Perhaps she didn't know her learning style and how to effectively use that to her advantage....or maybe she was just dead tired.
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