The modern world presents a highly challenging environment for the populace as far as competition for scarce resources is concerned. As a result, individuals are obliged to acquire a high degree of skills and competence to meet the high standards that have been set by the competitive environment. Such acquisition can only be made through a sound education system that embraces a suitable learning process.
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Through learning, individuals are able to harmonize emotional, cognitive as well as environmental experiences in the acquisition and improvement of one’s knowledge, values, and skills in an attempt to better his/her lifestyle. This paper, therefore, reviews an article on the students’ study habits while learning and compares it with the traditional methods of learning. Moreover, this paper encompasses a writer’s personal opinion on the article in review as well as discussing issues in the article.
“Forget what you know about study habits” is an article written by Benedict Carey on the 6th of September 2010 and published in the New York Times newspaper. Carey intends to dispel the old traditional theory of learning, whereby students are subjected to a fixed schedule and curriculum.
According to the researcher, the old system restricts students to certain study methods that are not only ineffective in mastering concepts taught but also encourage students to easily forget what has been taught. He further argues that the system has suppressed the innovativeness of some excellent teachers hence jeopardizing the standards of learning in schools. He further asserts that contrary to the belief that learning requires a specific prevailing condition, students who study in informal settings perform better than their counterparts in modern settings. A student can master as well as remember a genre while studying in a setting characterized by other activities in the background as these events have little effect on his/her studies.
He argues that the information acquired by the students is richer in a varied context of study than in a formal setting such as quite a classroom. Consequently, students are able to effectively master the concepts in addition to being able to recall the genre since the rate of forgetting is immensely reduced. Moreover, studying a variety of materials such as reading and speaking in the same setting creates an impression in the brain that is hard to erase. This model, therefore, dispels the popularly held theory of learning that lobbies for intensive immersion as the preferred method of mastering a concept.
Carey recommends the adoption of a careful and gradual study model as it enhances the student’s mastering ability and ease at which they recall the concepts. Besides, cognitive scientists posit that a learning strategy by which students engage themselves in self-practice as well as responding to test questions on the studied material is preferred to a mere student assessment. Contrary to popular belief that tests are hard, it is important to appreciate the fact that the harder a student recalls a concept in an attempt to respond to a question, the harder it will be for him/her to forget the genre.
Generally, the theorist suggests the integration of a variety of factors in the study model to enhance the learning process. He says that apart from the above-discussed study facets, including self-testing, changing study settings, mixing learning practices as well as spacing learning sessions, other factors including student motivation are fundamental to the success of the learning process. Finally, he recommends drafting a study plan that is based on evidence and not a theory as a way of enhancing the learning process.
The article criticizes the theory of learning in psychology and education. It presents a unique theory that lobbies for an informal learning process as a means of enhancing student’s ability to both master concepts as well as recall them later on. Moreover, it cites the importance of incorporating practicality and self-testing in the learning process as opposed to a mere assessment.
I tend to agree with a variety of issues discussed by Carey in this article. At the outset, I believe that self-testing, as well as practical learning, enables the students to not only master concepts but remember them for a long period of time. Proper planning and spacing of study sessions help the students in gradual mastering of concepts, thereby reducing the chances of forgetting the genres. The learning process should be evidence-based and not theoretical.
However, studying in a mixed environment may pose challenges to the student. Such environments may affect a student’s concentration on his/her studies hence interfering with his ability to master the concepts.