How Should We Approach Learning?

The Learning Sprint Dec 16, 2020

Sitting on one's desk for four hours straight trying to study and yet not doing it could be a struggle. And a pretty common one. You could be distracted or just generally unable to concentrate. Or putting in too much time for remembering things that are not striking our memory the way we expect. Or maybe you are not able to retain what you learn in the long run, forgetting most of it as soon as you ace your exam. Being more aware of how you study and how to learn could potentially help you make things more productive!

Tom talks about a 5 stage process to integrate efficiency in your study patterns.

· Unpacking the constituents of what you have to study and taking the time to analyze them.

· Dive into the fundamentals for conceptual understanding.

· Use relevant examples from your life and draw analogies for retention.

· Work out your strategy for taking in a particular concept.

· Test yourself!

We often persist on a singular path instead of looking at things holistically. But unless we have tried another one, how do we know that's best suited for us?

Try doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. There could be instances when that does not yield fruitful results. But in cases when it does, you have discovered something unique, a new unexplored process! In either case, you are gaining some insight-even if it is finding out what does not work.

As Tom iterates, we can compare this to a route you use for travel frequently. There are often multiple ways to traverse the same path. Yet we generally stick to one, maybe because that's what we are used to. But possibly, a more convenient route exists too!

Ironically so, there is a fair amount of curse associated with knowledge.

Teachers emphasizing their specialized area of study, for example, would not be the same for a high-schooler. Being aware of the prevalent biases could help this gap to some extent. For those on the receiving end, it could potentially even help prevent harshly treating ourselves. The learning experiences we have all been through are different. And that is likely to have some impact on how we understand the same concept.

Being conscious of these things could help strategize how you learn. Keep yourself aware of such nuances, and perhaps, you can work out your route!


Ritika Singhal

Along with Zubair Junjunia

Senior year student passionate about social justice and inclusive reform | she/her