Friday, November 4, 2016

How to learn a subject deeply

Learning a subject deeply means you know its theories and are able to apply it. Very often people learn a subject because they are required to without knowing its applications or if they would ever apply it. People learn practical subjects and are not able to apply them. These subjects require practice. But when you learn a subject deeply its practice becomes easy.

To learn a subject deeply requires to know "how to learn". You start by learning the concepts or key words in the subject. Sometimes there are words that are not known or are not well understood. Having a clear definition of these words helps to learn the subject deeply. Besides knowing key vocabulary it is necessary to master the theories. It is also important to have a clear understanding of the concepts of the subject. This can be done by having a clear mental picture of these concepts in one's mind. If it's not possible to imagine the concepts one can try to represent them by a visual representation. In order to learn a subject deeply it has to be absorbed gradually. so that the previous concepts can be applied to the following ones.

Deeper learning is the ability to apply knowledge to new situations. Deeper learning is associated  with better life and work outcomes according to a 2012 report.

Superficial  learning is associated with poor performance. On the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test that measures students' abilities to apply their knowledge to real-world problems U.S fifteen years old scored 26th of the 34 industrialized nations in mathematics.

Schools that practice deeper learning have their students graduated and attended college at higher rates than schools that don't use deeper learning.

Students who practice "deeper learning" take responsibility for their learning. In "deeper learning" students master their subjects deeply. They know the concepts, can apply them and reflect deeply on the subject.

Deeper learning is defined by 6 competencies: mastering content, critical thinking, effective written and oral communication, collaboration, learning how to learn and developing academic mindsets.

Deeper learning is associated with practice and reflection. In practical subjects learners can build things. Imagination, intuition and inspiration are some of the characteristics of deeper learning.

Deeper learners cultivate academic mindsets. They make the most out of their learning experiences. They hold the following key beliefs:
"I can change my intelligence and abilities through effort"
"I can succeed"
"This work has value and purpose for me"

Beliefs and learning skills bring success for learners.

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