Effective Study Skills are the Sole Foundation of a Sound Education

This essay intends to discuss whether effective study skills are the sole foundation to a sound education. A helpful start is to try to understand what is meant by the term study skills. Wikipedia (2014) defines study skills as “techniques to assess the individual to be an effective learner” and suggests that “any skill which boosts a students ability to study and pass exams can be termed as a study skill.” The word, skill, is further explained by Cottrell (2013) as “…a learned activity, something that can be developed through practice.” This suggests that anyone can successfully achieve a sound level of education. If skills such as time management, research skills, written skills and people skills can be learned, then perhaps everyone has the equal chance of success in their chosen topic of study. The C.R.E.A.M. Strategy for learning (Cottrell 2013) allows us to build further on the subject of study skills by looking at the learning process and breaking it down into four areas. It is then easy to see where individual study skills can be applied in the learning process.

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The acronym C.R.E.A.M. Stands for: C – creative, R – reflective, E – effective, A – active, M- motivation. Looking into each of these areas in more depth may give the student opportunity to examine the factors that may influence the learning process and be able to focus on, develop and apply the skills and strategies that they might find most effective. At the same time, weakness that may hinder the learning process, could be identified and dealt with. It seems to suggest that study skills and strategies can be taught, learned and implemented by any individual, so allowing anyone to gain a sound education by using these learned skills. However, there are many factors that may heavily influence the teaching and learning ofthese study skills in the first place, so affecting the implementation of the skills in order to succeed in education. Taylor (2014) believes that “in order for a student to learn there, are several factors that must be considered.

Most of these factors are external…”. Indeed, Mondal (2014) tell us there are seven factors that may influence a student: The intellectual factor ie. (i)the individuals intelligence level; (ii)learning factors such as poor or faulty teaching or learning methods; (iii)physical factors eg. physical development or defects, sensory defects or general ill health; (iv)mental factors especially attitude; (v)emotional and social factors such as instincts, emotions, cooperation or rivalry;(vi)teachers personality; (vii)environmental factors for example, physical conditions at home or place of study.

These factors go some way to identifying what may affect the way in which study skills can be learned and used effectively and of course many more could be mentioned too such as cultural and economic factors. In conclusion, effective study skills are vital for the development and continuing success in the education of an individual. However, the successful learning and implementation of these skills can be so heavily influenced by an abundance of outside factors, that it would be difficult to ultimately say that effective study skills are the sole foundation of a sound education.

Cottrell, S. (2013). The Study Skills Handbook, 4th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke Mondal, P. (2014). 21 March 2014 Taylor, D (January 2014). Factors That influence Student Learning,, 21 March 2014 20 March 2014

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