Next week is the start of our Knowledge Edge Study Skills Workshops.  The sessions will run for 5 weeks for high school students and 6 weeks for middle schoolers.

With all that kids have going on, does it really make sense to add one more thing to their schedule?

For this, yes.

There are a few important things to consider about study skills.

First, students may not know they need study skills until a critical point in their education.  For some students, that critical point is the transition from middle school to high school, when the pace accelerates and there is much more emphasis on “reading to learn.”  Other students may get all the way through high school without really having to study—then they flounder amidst the demands of college.  Why?  Because they never learned to study.  Students may know a lot, but success in college requires knowing how to learn.

What does an effective study skills course accomplish?

Acquire Information

An effective study skills program helps students develop the strategies they need to acquire information—from lectures, textbooks, other readings and other media.   Learning to take good notes, and identify main ideas and key concepts are examples of what a student must do to acquire information.

Remember Important Concepts

Students need to remember the most important concepts.  Students all learn differently and will have different ways to implant knowledge.  Diagrams, graphic organizers, mnemonic devices and other many other strategies help students retain the knowledge they gain.

Synthesize Information

Most importantly, students need to synthesize what they learn with prior knowledge to make it stick and truly gain understanding that will endure.  When critics today say “kids are taught to the test,” this is what they feel is lacking—the true ability of students to use what they learned outside of a specific application.

According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, memorization and understanding of information are basic cognitive skills.  Higher order thinking occurs when a student analyzes, evaluates and creates a new perspective—the student’s own perspective.  And that is when real learning occurs.

Other Study Skills Insights

In addition to strategies for learning, students can also learn strategies to prepare for and take tests.  At the middle and high school level, students should be starting to developing “executive function” skills.  These are life-long skills including time management and organization that are also covered in the KE Study Skills Workshop.

The KE Study Skills Workshops will meet Wednesdays starting September 13.  High school is at 5:30pm for five weeks and middle school is at 4:30pm for six weeks.  Each session is 55 minutes.  Cost is $250 for HS, $300 for MS.  Email or call 262-238-8867 to learn more!