Learning about Learning – and Ourselves!
Lance King is an internationally-recognised author and teacher who has worked with 200,000 students worldwide to improve their learning skills and exam performance. Founder of the Tao Institute for Learning, Lance King came to YCIS Beijing in December to lead a two workshops. Firstly, he gave a talk to parents on learning strategies they could use with their children. Then, he ran a workshop with our Year 8s on “Learning about Learning”.
During the workshop, students learned about how the brain works – including how it thinks and forms memories. They also learned how understanding themselves is useful when developing techniques for learning, revising and taking exams. Luli Podesta and Charlie Leung, both in Year 8, share their tips from the workshop.
Are you a visual or a verbal learner?
One of the first things that Lance covered with us was whether we are verbal or visual learners. We took a test to help us decipher which side we fall on. There are lots of similar tests online which might help you work out what suits you best.
Use the right materials for you
If you are a verbal learner, you might find it helpful to make lists and read and write out your notes. Visual learners find pictures, diagrams and colours helpful for their learning and revision. Make sure you have the materials to suit you, and make a habit of using them when you complete assignments and revise.
Create a perfect study environment
Everyone is different when it comes to a study environment. Some people like to work alone in a quiet place like their bedroom. Some like to work as a group and be surrounded by other people. It’s important to work out which of these is best for you, and then recreate that environment every time you need to work and revise.
What helps you concentrate?
It’s also good to think about what else helps you concentrate. Some of us listen to music when we work but some people need complete quiet. There’s no right or wrong way – it’s just about understanding yourself.
Make a checklist and timetable
Organisation and time management is sometimes the last thing you think about. But actually it should the first. You should try to keep a timetable for the whole school year – noting assignment due dates, opportunities to catch up and revise, teacher availability and exam dates.
This is especially important when you receive your exam timetable. Make a checklist of everything you need to do to prepare. Then create a revision timetable based on the order of your exams and how much time you need to prepare for each one. This will help you stay cool as exams approach.
All in all, it was a really helpful workshop. We learned a lot about ourselves and how this can help our work and revision. Thank you Lance!