To establish whether or not effective study skills are indeed the core foundation of a sound education, there firstly needs to be an understanding of what study skills are and what is meant by a sound education. Other factors that impact on education also need to be explored.
The term study skills is defined in Wikipedia (2012) as “techniques to assist the individual to be an effective learner.” Although some students may naturally possess good study skills, most people do not. However Cottrell (2008) explains “a skill is a learned activity, something that can be developed through practice.”
Time management, active listening, reading comprehension, presentation skills, memory techniques, critical thinking skills, research and evaluation, writing skills are all categorised as study skills and whether a natural attribute or an acquired skill have to be fine tuned and developed in order to be effective. A review by Biggs & Purdie (1996) found that study skills can be taught and that they can add between one and two grades to a students results.
However as education is defined in the Collins English Dictionary (2006) as “the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning” there are many other factors beside study skills that impact on an individuals education.
Social, economic and cultural backgrounds can have a massive influence over the ability for young people to access even the most basic education. In many parts of the world, free public education is still not readily available for all children and as reported by the BBC (2006) a study carried out by the Nations Education Organisation Unesco finds sending one child to primary school can cost more than a month’s wages in many third world countries.
Having access to free education however does not necessarily guarantee success. Children of lower socioeconomic groups who have access to free education can face many barriers in education, with attitude, aspiration and...
Collins English Dictionary – Second Edition 2006
Cottrell, S - The Study Skills Hand Book (Palgrave Macmillan), 3rd Edition Chapter 2 Pg 25
Cottrell, S - The Study Skills Hand Book (Palgrave Macmillan), 3rd Edition Chapter 3 Pg 44-45
Hattie, Biggs & Purdie (1996) - “Effects of Learning Skills Interventions on Student Learning: A Meta Analysis.” Review of Educational Research Summer 1996 Vol. 66, No 2, pp 99-136
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