Understandhow to develop study skills.Study skills are an effectiveessential one needs to achieve, and to be successful with their work on acourse. There are a range of different components that help individuals learndifferent techniques throughout the course, carry out assessments and work setand to make the most out of managing time and applying it to workload. Peoplelearn differently, study skills can help them chose the most effective way tocomplete their study.

Examples of ways people learn is through auditory, visualand kinaesthetic. Finding the right study skills that are best suited to aleaner can improve learning by aiding motivation, challenging the learner tofind different ways to learn and apply them to situations, to find which is themost effective for them. It is important to improve and develop study skills inthe Early Years sector as practice within the Early Years changes due to newdiscoveries in research and ideas that apply to Children’s development,learning and play.

Time management and organisation isone use of study skills, having efficient time management will help one balancecoursework and socialising/relaxation. A timetable or planner can keep recordof important dates such as deadlines for assignments or other commitments, thiscan also help the learner prioritise workloads. Using resources and accessinginformation, another study skill that can help the learner use a range ofresources for research to find information.

This can include visiting thelibrary, using the internet or observing work settings. Reading is a hugelyimportant part of effective study as a majority of study is reading vastresources. This can include reading books, journals, reports, documents andinternet accessible information. Reading while studying is different thangeneral reading as the information needs to be properly processed and analysed.This information can then be noted down for the learner to reflect on, this goeson to the next study skill of note-taking. Note-taking is a simple, importantmethod that can be used in multiple situations. These situations can includelecturers, discussions, handouts, books and internet information. Thesenote-taking can help write reports and assignments and help with revision.

Improving memory, as a learner startsa new course the amount of new information being received can be quite intensefor some. If the learner can show an understanding of relevant information andhave opinions and ideas on this, then this should help the learners memoryimprove as a study skill. Organising information and structuringideas, this study skill is essential for almost all types of work. Depending onwhich style of learning is best suited for the learner will affect how theyorganise and structure. For example, if the learner, learns best through visualmeans then they might use diagrams or drawings whereas if the learner preferskinaesthetic learning then they may prefer to discuss information with others.

Writing assessments as part of thecourse the learner will be faced with writing projects over time. This studyskill eases the learner by having a strategy that can be applied to variousprojects. Key elements of this are; plan, structure, academic style andreferencing. Participating in group work is a great study skill as it allowsthe learner to be part of a team, socialising and discussing ideas, sharing opinionsand finding new views.

Group work participation encourages social interaction,promotes communication, generates creative ideas and supports personaldevelopment. However, group work can have few problems as group members mayclash with personalities or not participate, if problems like this arise thenproper guidelines should be followed and agreed with. Giving presentations and speaking inpublic.

An Early Years practitioner is faced with communicating with manypeople, such as parents and carers, colleagues and other professionals. Clearcommunication is essential for being a practitioner. When it comes topresentations, preparation and practice will help develop and improve skillsand confidence.

Rehearsal practices can improve confidence and check timing ofpresentation, ensuring it fits with allocated time. Preparing for exams isanother study skill, that can be developed and improved by applying other studyskills. Knowa range of study strategies and techniquesStudy skills can help a learner decidewhich type of learning style is best suited for them. With this, techniques canbe developed and applied, these techniques can be creative strategies to orderand organise ideas. Brainstorming is one strategy used forstudying, it is creative and personal towards the leaner and does not need tobe understood by anyone else but the learner. Brainstorming is a way of gettingall opinions and ideas down without worrying about criticism.

It can also bedone as a group exercise where different ideas are brought up within the groupwhich can often trigger ideas into others. Spider diagrams (spidergrams)  is an efficient technique used to organiseideas and phrases and creating them into a web. Spidergrams are typicallycreated to span branches of a main topic. Using colours,pictures, and simple keywords are easier to remember.

           Mind Mapping, this issimilar to spider diagrams, it is a visual map of ideas the main subject is centre,and the learners organise their notes around the central subject. Thistechnique can be used as a form of note-taking or for planning as well as anobservation method while working in the Early Years sector.Whichever wayinformation is collected for assignments, projects etc. It must be organised inorder that it can be understood later on, by another person. Organisinginformation can be done in several ways, notes can be kept in files withdividers or different coloured paper for different subject areas, using asectional notebook or keeping files on the computer, each folder can be named differentlywith sub folders to separate different learning outcomes within the same unit.The notes, diagrams etc. should be laid out in a way which is easy tounderstand, this could be using bullet points, highlighters, paragraphs ornumbering.

 Structuring ideas is tomake sure that they are in a sequence that allows the ideas to be understood,firstly, or centrally should be the main ideas that come from the informationand ideas, then the ideas that stem from the main idea that hold the mostsignificance, less significant ides should then be sequenced and finally theconclusions that are made from the ideas that the learner has had. Again, usingbullet points, highlighters, paragraphs or numbering can help structure theirideas. Memorising and retaining informationis a vital skill to the course. As people have different ways to learn theyalso have different abilities to remember information. Information needs to betaken from the short-term memory or working memory and transferred intolong-term memory.

This can be processed as information is repeated. Techniquesthat can be used to help the process; speaking outloud when reading can help memory then later try to teach themselves or someoneelse what has been learnt. Use associations or mnemonics to remember,this can be visualising something that helps the learner remember or by makingup rhymes using the first letter of words in a phrase.One method that can help processingshort-term information into long-term is the Cornell note-taking system. It isan organised systematic method that organises and structures note-taking bydividing paper in two columns and writing notes in one column while relatedquestions and key words go into the other column. It tests memory as thelearner will cover one column and see if they can correctly recite theinformation related to it. According to neuroscience there arefour fundamental factors that affect memory and learning and improve them.These factors are attention, generation, emotion and spacing.

Attention is anobvious factor for memory and learning, if the learner pays full attention tothe topics and has no distractions during this time then they can fully focuson information which in turn, makes it easier to memorise. Generation issummarised as the links and associations a learner makes from the informationlearnt to their own memory. If the learner can keep a positive emotion while learning,then they will be able to retain the information and remember it more easily.Spacing is associated with the time used to learn information, neuroscientistsbelieve that remembering information is best done over a spaced period rather thanbeing overwhelmed by information in a short period of time.

Information can be identified from avariety of sources, these sources can include books, journals, documents,reports and more. The learner would have to identify, select and evaluate andthis information. This can be done by looking at the reliability, the relevance,the accuracy and the date of publication.Checking and considering reliabilityof information is important. Information gathered from the internet needs to bechecked for reliability, even if it looks reliable it can be the opposite. Thelearner needs to check the relevancy of information and ensure it applies tothe topic and subject area.

This also applies to ensuring that information isrelevant towards the aim and stays focused. This contributes to checking thesource, where it was published and what the information specifies on. This isbecause certain information may not be relevant or apply to UK Early Yearsstudy. Assessing the accuracy of information is vital, checking where thesource has gathered the information and if it is fact or opinion. Checking thepublication date is also important as there is always new findings and studieswithin the Early Years, the most recent publication date is the most reliableand relevant.

If sources are 10 years old or older they are considered out ofdate and not accurate anymore however legislations are still used. To avoid plagiarism a learner shouldensure that they, clearly state the sources that have been used in their work,to not use word-for-word the work of others without identifying where theinformation is from and passing it off as their own. Plagiarism is a form ofcheating and has serious consequences, it is using the work of someone else andusing it as your own.

To avoid plagiarism the leaner must ensure andacknowledge the sources and reference them. References need to include authorsname, place of publication and publication date, text title, and page numbers. Anotherway to avoid plagiarism is for the learner to develop their own writing style.This can include paraphrasing but not too much as this can still be classifiedas plagiarism. Developing a writing style will also encourage an individual tobecome more confident with their own work. Knowthe factors that affect studyThere are many different factors thatcan affect the learner and their study.

The learner must take these factorsinto consideration when studying so that they can learn.One factors that can affect study isthe learner’s environment. Environmental factors can affect study as; it maynot be the most appropriate place to learn and study, it may not be a suitabletime, the resources needed may not be assessable and there might bedistractions that keep the learner from studying and from being motivated intocompleting study. When it comes to the learner’s environment they need to takeinto consideration a few aspects first.

These aspects can be; where does thelearner feel most comfortable when studying, do they need to be alone, do theyneed total peace and quiet or do they prefer to work as a group with others andhave discussions about the topic. Environmental factors can also help thelearner realise when is the best time for them to study. Learners may prefer a quietenvironment, as external noise can be very disturbing when trying to study. Peopletalking, television or radio can easily distract, however many people find abackground of the right kind of music can be quite therapeutic and help withstudy. If music is used, it is preferable to use earphones and carefully chosenmusic. Learners need to find the most comfortable place for them in theenvironment to conduct study, whilst a bed or a comfy armchair may be toocomfortable for study, a comfortable chair at a desk or table can make a bigdifference to the length of time the learner is able to study.

Ensure the roomis heated to a comfortable temperature, too cold and the learner will not beable to concentrate, too hot and they will feel tired and lethargic. Ensurethat they have enough room to be able to spread their work out in an organisedfashion is required, so a large desk or table is beneficial. The study areashould be well lit, this will allow work to be carried out without strainingeyes or getting headaches.Tools and resources needed is also afactor that affects study.

For example; making use of all resources around thelearner so that they can complete study. This can be from their own knowledge,researching on the internet or reading books and reports, and from discussionswith tutors and colleagues. One of the most popular places to study is thelibrary, where books and computers are on hand to use, should they be needed. There are multiple personal mattersthat can impact the learner and affect their study.

These matters include,family and work responsibilities, health and well-being, distractions, supportand planning. If the learner has a support system in place, then this can helpthem balancing their social life and commitments with their workload. Supportsystems can include family and friends, colleagues and tutors and other supportgroups.

Due to family and workresponsibilities this can be a key factor that contributes to impacting thelearner’s study. This may be due to commitments that are needed elsewhere. Itis vital that the learner can balance their workload and study with their dailyroutines and life responsibilities. It is important that the learner takescare of the health and well-being. If the learner does not ensure that theystay healthy by eating regular meals, drinking plenty of water and gettingenough sleep every night. Then they can become ill and decrease their stamina.

If the learner’s stamina is low, then this can influence their ability toconcentrate and therefore not learning to the full potential that they can. Stress can be a common major factorthat can affect the health and well-being of a learner. Stress can arise whenthere are deadlines, when the learner needs to arrange and organise theirstudying and balance it with personal life. Stress can also be related toanxiety and lack of confidence. As a learner it is important that they try andmanage stress, this can be achieved by having a clear balance to study andpersonal life. This can be achieved by ensuring that the learner has a sociallife, exercises regularly, has comfort and rewards.

Individuals can identifywhich way to cope with stress is best for them, if stress gets out of hand thenthe learner needs to make sure that their tutors are aware so that they canhelp and if need to, seek advice. The learner can avoid stress by making surethat they time management and good organisation skills as this will help themstay on top of their work without becoming overwhelmed.Planning can help the learner studyeffectively. To have proper planning the learner must ensure that they organisetheir work and have proper time management. They also need to make sure thatthey understand and accept the expectations that is needed from them and theirwork, have a timetable that is made up of all assignment deadlines which theycheck regularly so that they know when is the most appropriate time for them tostart planning and working on them. The timetable can also be made up of aweekly timetable however this means that the learner will have to plan inadvance.

If the learner ensures that they have all resources needed, then thiswill help with planning. Setting goals can also help the learner focus onstudy. Rewards are also an effective way to complete study as the learner willbe motivated to finish study so that they can treat themselves.Study support is crucial to thelearner so that they can learn as much as possible which furthers theirpotential of passing the course. The learner must ensure that they attendsessions organised by the tutor that will help their study. Attendance allowsthe learner gain primary knowledge and be taught it. This also gives thelearner an opportunity to ensure that they understand information by askingquestions and discussing topics.Procrastination is a massivedistraction that can affect the study of a learner.

Distractions can include avariety of features that cause the learner to lose focus. Procrastination canbe slightly different as it can be features that the learner would rather focuson. To avoid procrastination and distractions the learner must keep themselvesdisciplined while working. If the learner sets themselves targets and good timemanagement then they should be able to keep distractions minimal.Some factors that may affect my ownstudy is family responsibilities and health. I look after my younger siblingwhen my father is at work and when I have later shifts, ensuring that she getsto school on time and is ready and ensuring that I am back in time after work,so she can be dropped home.

This is a commitment I have taken because of thelove I have for my family despite being estranged from one parent. Distractionscan also factor towards this as there is not really an appropriate place for meto study, however I try best to study regardless of these factors. Due to health-relatedreasons I have had times where I have been absent.

Stress will be my mainconcern while studying due to my suffering with anxiety which can affect myphysical health too, this can then lead to more absent days causing a viciouscircle. I get financial support from my father as well as emotional supportfrom him along with my partner and other family members. I fully love the jobrole I have been employed as and this motivates me to study to the best of myability.To optimize study a learner needs todiscover and understand which is the best way they learn, once they do thisthis they can thrive in their study time. One of the first theorists thatinfluenced many others on his learning styles work is Kolb. Kolb believed thatlearning styles developed due to experience exposure.

 One popular theory that was influenced by Kolband identifies learning styles is Honey and Mumford. According to Honey and Mumford thereare four learning styles; reflector, theorist, activist and pragmatist. Thereflector is a learner who prefers to observe rather than experience althoughthey can collate information and analyse it. A theorist learner likes theoriseinformation and understand it and tends to have logical thinking.

An activistlearning style is when the learner prefers to get actively involved with workand learn through the experiences they make whereas a pragmatist learning styleis those who prefer tactical work and make links between theories andtechniques and applying them to practice. 

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