The world at work has changed radically since last century. So, too, has the world at school.
Students are no longer required to simply learn a bunch of facts and demonstrate having learnt them by vomiting up answers to “who, what, where” type questions. Sure, naming, identifying, classifying and explaining still form part of all assessments, but more and more emphasis is being placed on critical thinking, assimilating, synthesising and creating. The old-fashioned ways of learning by rote are no longer sustainable. Students HAVE to understand their material fully and MUST be able to think about it from a variety of different perspectives, as well as engage critically with the content. In order to do so, successfully and sustainably, effective study skills need to be learned as early as possible.
We teach what we know
It’s human nature to assume other people think and learn the same way you do. They don’t. Everyone learns differently and has different learning strengths. I see parents teaching their children the same approaches to studying that worked (or, in some cases – didn’t work) for them as children. This is not always successful, because:
- content and methods of testing have changed
- your child is an individual who learns differently from you
Working with the Brain’s Strengths
Thanks, in great part, to the ability to do functional MRI’s and, thus, see what the brain is doing whilst someone is conscious, there have been enormous discoveries in neuroscience over the past decade. We now know about neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout our lives) and how we are able to literally “change our minds”. This knowledge has had a huge impact on the field of learning. Using current neuroscience, study skills can be honed to create optimum learning, understanding and retention for all subjects.
Study Skills are also Life Skills
As well as the skills required to get down and memorise, understand and synthesise the course content, study skills also involve important life skills. Some of these are:
- Organisational Skills like setting goals, planning and time management
- Mental Flexibility and the ability to think critically, adapt and change one’s viewpoint
- Motivation, Resilience and the ability to Work Under Pressure
- Problem Solving and Resourcefulness
The Importance of Study Skills for the New World at Work
A quick google search will reveal a plethora of articles on the most important qualities companies are looking for in their new “hires”. Gone are the days when a University Degree or Diploma would guarantee you a job. “Soft Skills’ and emotional intelligence play a far greater role than ever before in ensuring the “dream job”. The skills highlighted in the bulleted list above are four of the most important skills employers seek; in any sector.
Enrol in a Course
What are you waiting for? Enrol your child in a Study Skills course now! Give them tools they need to ace their exams AND their future careers!
CLICK HERE to find out more about TLC Study Skills Workshops in Durban in April/May, 2019.