How do you study?

Think about it. There's a technology to nearly everything - taking a photograph, plumbing a house, or performing a surgery. But is there a technology to effective study?

tech• nol• o• gy: (noun) The specific methods, materials, and devices used to solve practical problems. (The American Heritage® Science Dictionary)

There is, and it’s called Study Technology. It does not involve simple things like memory tricks or study tips, but provides an understanding of the fundamentals of the learning process itself. It identifies specific barriers that can prevent comprehension, and teaches one how to remedy these. Mastering these tools enables anyone to learn a subject or acquire a new skill.

In our ever-changing world, the ability to learn, relearn, and apply knowledge in one’s life is what determines success. With Study Technology, any lack of success can actually be traced back to a cause that you can control.

“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.”
— Elbert Hubbard

The Three Barriers to Study

Lack of Mass

Attempting to educate someone without the mass (i.e. the actual thing one is studying about or a reasonable approximation) can make study exceedingly difficult. 

For example, if one is studying about engines, the printed page and the spoken word are no substitute for an actual engine. Lacking an engine to associate with the written word, or at least pictures of an engine can close off a person’s understanding of the subject. This is the first barrier to study.

Too Steep a Gradient

The next barrier is too steep a study gradient. That is, if a student is forced into undertaking a new action without having understood the previous action, confusion results. Have you ever tried origami? Ever gotten one step wrong and abandoned the project? You probably experienced too steep of a gradient.

Words and context

The third barrier to study is the most important of the three; the misunderstood word. A not-comprehended definition or an undefined word or symbol can block one’s understanding of a sentence, a page, or even an entire subject.

Here’s an example: What is palynology? Would you ever pick up a book entitled “Palynology and You”? Or if you read the sentence “She has also played a key role in establishing new techniques in forensic palynology that have been used nationally.”

If you don’t know what palynology means, you might have some trouble or even no interest in proceeding to read about the new techniques.

But if you know that palynology is the study of pollen, you might want to know about the fascinating world of pollen!