Teaching students how to study

   School results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tend to be very negative and one of the causes is usually not the absence of students but they do not know to study or do not put effort in it.
As well as we must develop specific skills to practice a profession, we also must dominate general study techniques that improve academic performance and take advantage of the time in order to study.

   What makes a good student? First, he understands what he is studying, I mean that he practices reading comprehension and learns what a lesson says. Some children do not know make problems because they do not understand neither the approach nor what is asked them. In any reading comprehension is very positive to make understanding questions in order to capture the reasons of the text and not only the data.

   Second, the good student understands the main idea of each paragraph and stresses it with a pencil. With these underlined ideas he will be able to make a schema, ordering and linking the contents. The underlined text and the schema facilitate understanding and memorization of the lesson. The good student will know to express the ideas of the schema in a synthetic and ordered way.

   Finally, the study has to be active and reflective. The student tries to ask personal questions and finds answers. In addition, the study will be efficient; I mean that he gets good academic performance in relation to the time used.

   On the contrary, the bad student does not know neither study nor follow any established method. He tries to learn parrot-fashion, repeating what was studied in a literal way and without understand. This does not motivate him but produces him frustration because does not find any meaning or value to what he studies.

   His way of studying is passive; neither makes reading comprehension, stresses, poses questions, looks up the dictionary, nor makes schemas. Although he spends a lot of time, he does not get good grades and often it ends in frustration and school failure.

   Children can learn these study techniques from their parents and are a positive complement in the achieving homework at home. Naturally, they are taught systematically in schools. As in other aspects of education, in terms of the criteria of teaching students how to study, it is necessary the collaboration between parents and teachers.
    Arturo Ramo García


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