Boy oh boy… I’m a sucker for questions like this. It’s a rant provoker for me. Without further ado:
The study advice in this blog has kind of blown my mind. I don’t understand why no one’s ever told me this stuff. A lot of it seems kind of obvious but I’ve never had a teacher recommend it. They always give these crappy study more tips. Why do you think that is?
I think this is a question best answered with a list.
1. Teachers aren’t good students.
I’m sorry to say this but most teachers didn’t have the best grades in school.
In fact, teaching is regularly ranked as one of the easiest college majors.
That’s not to say high scoring teachers don’t exist (because they do) but most of the most skilled students went into fields other than teaching.
2. Teachers love their subject.
When a teacher says to study their subject more, they’re saying what may have worked for them.
Teachers select certain subjects to teach because they like those subjects.
Since they like those subjects, they likely can get away with studying the subject longer to learn more.
That means forcing more study time often ends up being a counterproductive waste of time.
3. One Size Fits All
Study advice’s effectiveness depends on the student to some extent.
I’ve written books and articles on studying and school for a few years now and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface in this absolutely insanely complicated subject.
No one can blame a teacher for picking a pointlessly simple one size fits all solution.
(Sarcasm alert:) Study more! It works. It may not be efficient. In fact, in the long run it can become more and more difficult and less and less effective but when that happens teachers can repeat: STUDY MORE!
4. New Data
Most aspects of public schooling have been static for the last 100+ years.
Many of the pieces of advice provided in this blog have been discovered in the last few decades.
The only major advances that have ended up in schools today are white boards (instead of black boards) and computers.
The vast majority of the system is the same as it’s always been.
The new strategies have never had a chance to get into the system.
5. Grades Versus Knowledge
Of course, some of the stuff I recommend doesn’t help a student learn better. Some of it just helps the student score higher while learning less.
Assuming the teachers real goal is educating students of specific knowledge, they shouldn’t teach you these strategies.
I teach these strategies because the system is broken.
The system can’t be fixed without people realizing that.
These strategies prepare you for life with things more important than pointless facts. They help you interact with the world around you in a more intelligent way.
Most teachers have the best of intentions. That being said, most don’t have a clue what they’re talking about when it comes to getting better grades.
Image Sources: David Woo
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