Students who have not developed necessary study skills are at a disadvantage in the classroom and as future employees.
If students understand that the brain can be developed like a muscle, they will be empowered to take control of their learning.
What are study skills, and why are they important? Study skills enable us to organize and learn effectively. They help us to acquire and retain information, and they are crucial to academic success. They include such skills as:
- time management
- reading comprehension
- and preparing for exams.
Developing effective study skills is essential to becoming an independent learner, who can function well in both academic and workplace settings.
While study skills are often referred to as “soft skills” because they are not “content-based” (or come directly from a specific subject), they are skills that are transferable to all subject areas. Often due to time constraints, study skills are not directly taught in many schools; however, students who have not developed these necessary skills are at a disadvantage as students in the classroom and future employees. A 2009 study by Ohio State University found that students who took a study skills class were 45% more likely to graduate from college. In another study, which was conducted by Stanford University and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation, 500 CEOs were interviewed, and it was found that “soft skills,” not technological knowledge or industry expertise, accounted for 75% of their professional success. Employers value these skills in their staff and are looking for employees who have developed strong time-management and organizational skills.
Can your child afford NOT to take a study skills course?
Carol Dweck, a renowned psychologist at Stanford University, has shown through her research that students’ understanding of the brain affects both their motivation and their academic achievement. If students understand that the brain can be developed like a muscle, they will be empowered to take control of their learning. Dr. Dweck has further shown that teaching students a growth mindset, along with study skills, has a greater effect on student learning than teaching study skills on their own. (For more information about Dr. Dweck’s work, including interviews, click here.)
Based on current research in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and learning, we aim to foster an appreciation for the value of effort and to help our students become lifelong learners. RITES has developed a course designed to help high school students become efficient, independent learners. “Study Smarter, Not Harder” provides direct instruction in time management, note-taking, study guide preparation, and test-taking strategies, all with the goal of making studying more productive and rewarding for your child.
The course will be offered at the RITES Learning Center beginning in October and again in February and will consist of four two-hour sessions on Sunday afternoons. For more information, contact RITES at (401) 723-4459, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online to register.
Blog contributed by Debra Nassau, M.A. in Education, RITES teacher