Monday, 23 May 2011

How To Learn as A Student In a Teacher's Way.

    Introduction: these 5 steps in learning are adapted from Johann Friedrich Herbert's 5 steps in lesson delivery (for teachers).
    I discover a good way of taking lessons from the suggested way of lesson delivery by Johann Friedrich Herbert.
    This method of lesson delivery has made a good teacher out of many, and I believe it will make a good student out of you.
    • Preparation
    • Presentation
    • Association/comparison
    • Generalization
    • Application
    1.     Preparation: be mentally prepared for class. Be happy about learning and knowledge acquisition and not essentially about the subject. This way you will learn, the abstract nature of the subject or the personality of the tutor/teacher/lecturer nonetheless.

    About preparation, there is need for physical preparedness. If you can, avoid unnecessary exhaustion, for this has an unproductive effect on your mind.
    Physical exhaustion defeats mental alertness.

    I am not saying you should not exert yourself, but I am saying you should maintain Fitness for Learning

    Lastly, plan ahead for the class and have all the materials needed in the class. Not planning and not having the materials for a class can be embarrassing, and embarrassment is not always good for learning, emotionally. (you can learn from embarrassments though, if you have A mind for learning)

    2.     Presentation: for students, this is adapted to mean how a student conceptualize and memorize.
    To conceptualize, a student usually does at least one, or both of two things:
    • Think in figures and numbers
    • Think in pictures and diagrams.
    Everyone can be categorized into any of the above classes, and the manner of lesson delivery often determines how easy it is for the student to understand, i.e. conceptualize what is being taught.

    For a student that thinks pictorially, a lecture or subject that is full of charts and diagrams is easily understood, while it may take a longer period for another student  who thinks numbers and figures, but he too can think of the charts and diagrams in terms of numbers.

    When a student understands how he/she conceptualize, he can use it to his/her advantage. For example, in a mathematics class, you can conceptualize the formulas by inserting  familiar pictures or 'persons', that is, if you think better with pictures. I believe this concept explain why a student may not be doing well in courses like mathematics, and yet be performing well in a math related subject like physics - the student thinks in pictures, and physics is full of physical illustrations.

    Any student having problem with presentation of numerical lessons to him/herself can take advantage of this kind of information. For the students that think in number, I think it is usually easier to number pictures and diagrams, and to put them into aspects and ratios.

    3.     Association/comparison: This is the means by which concepts can be fully entrenched by a learner. It involves probing e.g. questioning by comparing and contrasting what is being learnt and what has been learnt, what is known and what is to be known, what a student think is correct from knowledge and reconciling the known facts with the new facts being presented.

    Association/comparison is where the student reaches a compromise between two seemingly contrasting facts. The higher one's learning goes, the more of such contrasting facts one finds, and more questions generated.

    By association and comparison, the student finds relationship between his foundational knowledge and the new knowledge. Association/comparison provides mortar for the bricks of knowledge.

    The faster a student can find relationships between what is known and what is to be known (no matter how unrelated), the better learner the student becomes. Students will increase their capacity to learn and strike out a unique path to success  if they start to associate new facts with whatever knowledge they now possess.

    Association is at the core of analytical minds, which in turn make geniuses, of course that include you. Because of our unique experiences and environments, we process i.e. associate and compare facts differently; to be a genius then is not a big deal.

    The more associations and relationship you find between topics, the more understanding of the subject you have.

    4.     Generalization : This is where you make the summary of what is supposed to be learnt and what you have learnt. With generalization, you make a quick assessment of what yourself. Have you learnt what is supposed to be learnt? Can I say to myself what the goals of the topic of subject was, and if I were to be tested, can  I give back as much as I am taught? Generalization is the point where we recap everything supposed to be learnt.

    The teacher is not the only person that must recap everything taught, you learn smartly by going over the entire lesson before the teacher does, or immediately after the teacher is done.

    5.     Application : This, to me makes another form of generalization. Think of how to apply what you have learnt. To what direct use can the lesson learnt be put? Always put aside time to think about what use to put what is learnt, no matter how abstract the lesson, and no matter how brief the time is you put aside to think on the lessons application. The more you do this, the better learner you become, plus the fact that it is one of those things people we see as genius do.