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 study?

Every child has an innate desire to learn, to gain knowledge and understanding of life and the world. Learning is typically an engaging process but a child might feel otherwise if they have run across something which they don’t understand. That “something” can be a word, it can be a concept or action, or it can simply be the question “how does this apply to me?”

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

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!

Once the Barrier is identified and remedied, a student feels brighter and is once again eager to learn. Using these tools develop a truly self-sufficient and self-directed student who can learn anything.