The Filipino Learner in the 21st Century
With the beginning of the school year, it is time to reflect on the fundamental strategies that pupils, students, and learners from all walks of life can employ in order to improve their academic performance at any level.
Discover your learning style. It is imperative for any learner to discover his or her learning style, the one that is the primary preference of his or her mental nature. Try to discover your learning style and your mental skills and academic performance will get a boost. Do you enjoy looking at pictures and visual diagrams? Do you like to watch informative programs in the television? Do you doodle in your notebook? Does the presentation of topics in school with visual art make you appreciate the lesson more? Then you are a visual learner. Do you like to listen to music when you study your lessons? Are you the type who would benefit from tape recording important lessons and playing them back during exam preparation time? Are you fascinated with sound? Can you close your eyes during class and absorb more of the lesson as the distractions are eliminated? Then you are an aural learner. There are other learning styles, I will expound more in the future. The idea is that you must discover your preferential learning style and use it to the optimum.
Create a personalized learning environment. Try to create a learning environment at your home. As much as possible, try to obtain your own study table, no matter how simple it is. Organize your notebooks and textbooks. Create posters that inspire you to study. Always schedule your day and week so that you can spend time studying and still perform your household chores. Creating a study space impresses in your subconscious the fact that learning is fun and you have deliberately created an environment that facilitates learning. Set learning goals for yourself. Aim high!
Develop a love for books. This is one of the most critical habits that a person can develop which will go a long way to improve his learning skills. For parents, try to inspire and encourage your children to love reading books. Try to organize your budget to accommodate a certain amount to buy informative and educational books. Invest in the classics. Create a family library. And most importantly, try to be a model for your kids. If children see that their parents love to read, then they will also be inspired to love books. For pupils and students of all ages, read widely and deeply. Always refresh your mind with knowledge by reading general information books. You might even be selected to participate in quiz bees and mental contests. Thus, all kinds of informative books are important. Expand your range always by reading even those books that are not recommended by your teachers and instructors. Start collecting books at a young age and soon, you will be surprised at the quality of your library as you grow older. Read, read and read!
Understand the fundamental skills. The fundamental skills that allow you to access other higher-order mental skills are the essential subjects of the languages and mathematics. It is very important for young learners to master these two essential skills. All the subjects in the curriculum are important but if you ask me the two most important subjects, then it is English and Mathematics. The ability to comprehend successfully all the other subject in the curriculum is predicated on a good background of these two skills. All the aptitude and licensing examinations implicitly test language and numerical comprehension skills. It is the degree of understanding of these two fundamental subject areas which is directly proportional to academic intelligence. So, learners of all ages, never forget to master linguistic and mathematical skills. In addition, computer literacy must be prioritized also.
Experiment with yourself. In order to improve your study skills, then you must experiment with yourself. How? You must attempt to analyze yourself more as a learner. Ask yourself: what are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you prefer social science subjects to mathematical subjects? If yes, then devote more time to algebra and geometry in order to redress the balance. As a college student, do you excel in the theoretical aspect of your science subjects but struggle in the laboratory exams? Then make an effort to master more of the laboratory lessons. Do you hate memorizing but some of your teachers seem to test that area most often in their exams? Then make an effort to develop memory codes and tools that will help you strengthen your memory. Analyze also your temporal preferences. Do you like to study in the morning, afternoon or nighttime? Then adjust your personal and social schedule to accommodate your temporal preference. Once in a while, do something out of the ordinary which may allow you to discover certain tools that will help you study. How? Go to a park, perhaps your psyche needs it to study. Or perhaps you like to study in the canteen, with the aroma of food and drinks enriching your consciousness. Perhaps listening to some form of music will catalyze your learning curve. Then by all means listen to musical pieces. Classical music, nature symphonies, meditation music, love songs and pop have been proved by various researchers to be the most beneficial in inducing a relaxed mental state. Experiment with various ways to enhance your learning curve.
Join a study group. If you feel that joining a study group will inspire to ascend newer and higher heights of mental achievements, then by all means do so. Join a study group or create one. Befriend the academic achievers in your various classes. This will enrich your network of friends. Besides, the best academic performer in your class may give you some additional tips on how to hurdle difficult topics. Choose your friends with care though. Social learning is fun, make the most out of it.
Apply your learning. One of the best ways to integrate what you have learned into your consciousness is to apply it in your daily life. If you have a store, then you can apply the mathematical lessons you learned in school. Economics teaches you how to budget your money. Social science will inculcate in you concepts you can use in your circle of friends. Mastery of languages will come in handy in foreign lands. These are just some of the ways to translate learning in school into relevant situations in daily life. These are just some of the ways to enhance your study habits. I will share more in the future.
I would like to thank the ownership, publishers and editorial staff of our beloved regional newspaper, the NORTHERN POST, in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Philippines, for allowing me to present interesting educational concepts in this media format. May this be a partnership of the ages. Thank you so much, Mabuhay, and more power. God bless this newspaper.