Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading 3

I've always been interested in learning/teaching and (being back in academe) spent some time this Spring reading/looking through some books on the study process. By far the most interesting one is by Cal Newport, How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less.

He's impressive himself (currently at MIT doing his doctorate, already publishing research, and writing his third book) and his approach was to talk to straight-A students at Ivy League colleges and universities about their strategies to develop a method that is based on real-life examples, not theory.

The strategies are impressive, sometimes unconventional (his description of finding out-of-the-way places to study/work--where you won't be distracted--is fascinating), and most importantly to me, he's interested in really understanding what you learn, not just collecting facts. He also has great advice about writing papers.

The tone of the book is clearly is aimed at undergrads, with descriptions of how you can still party and do well . . . but, partying or not, I think it IS important to have some balance in your life, at any and all stages. Balance is something that doesn't imply even balance at all times (we all have crunch times), but that you shouldn't neglect other important aspects of life beyond just studying (social life, relationships).

All in all, a terrific book and one I'd recommend to any college/university student, undergraduate or graduate.

No comments: