Studying Smart with Learning Strategies: Another Way Librarians Can Help Students Succeed

A good deal of students’ success or failure will depend on their ability to effectively remember information. This requires them to have effective learning strategies.

Exhausted student asleep in library

A short article at the Huffington Post has a brief discussion of the issue, and notes how important this can be particularly for “disadvantaged” students:

Knowing the best way to summarize information you read is key to being a proficient reader. In fact, this month’s PISA in Focus suggests that if disadvantaged students — who consistently score lower on PISA assessments than advantaged students — used the most effective learning strategies to the same extent as students from more advantaged backgrounds do, the performance gap between the two groups would shrink considerably.

It is, as I’ve maintained before, important for librarians to know what these strategies are; you never know when you will have the opportunity to work with students in this capacity. I recommend to all librarians working with students this really excellent Scientific American article called “Psychologists Identify the Best Ways to Study,” as it offers practical advice on the topic useful to teacher-librarians.

Key study skills that work include self-testing and distributed practice; ones that don’t are highlighting and re-reading. This short piece from the American Psychological Association on how to “Study Smart” gives a wonderful overview (and doesn’t require you to sign up, like the Scientific American piece). This post, “Students Should be Taught How to Study,” by cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham is also an excellent resource on the topic.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

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