Interestingly enough, the methodology of correct study practice goes back at least to Francis Bacon. It was he who stated that knowledge is only as valuable as it can be used to better the conditions of life. This was a completely new way of evaluating data, unheard of before. Prior to Bacon knowledge was deemed valuable only if it had its origins in Roman or Greek or Biblical times. Practicality was regarded as irrelevant in the pursuit of wisdom. They called it Scholasticism and it has not yet fully vanished from the world of Academia.

With the application and spread of Bacon’s suggestion the world began to see the development of better wagons, roads, bridges, ships, houses and a million other things, eventually exploding into the modern era with the Industrial Revolution.

There were two other immediate offshoots to Francis Bacon’s philosophy – it grew two arms, as it were. Firstly, it was soon after Bacon that the first dictionaries began to appear. Vagueness was no longer aceptable. Words needed to be clearly defined so that people could know exactly what was being spoken about.

And secondly, people were no longer content to wait for heaven to materialize after they died – an idea, or the application of an idea, had to be experienced in the here and now, and it had to be experienced personally, not on the lofty reports of other more enlightened beings. Personal experience, personal involvement – that is what mattered. Are the conditions of life getting better where it matters – here and now in my life right here – and not in some vague promise of a hoped for afterlife.

From all of this the Scientific Method eventually developed. But we don’t need to go into that. Suffice it to say that there were three important principles here: 1, the importance of understanding the meanings of words and their exact application; 2, personal involvement and experience with the subject matter; and 3, the importance of a use, or purpose, for the knowledge.

And these are also the basics of successful study and learning.

These three principles relate directly to the three basic conditions of existence of life in this universe, namely BE, DO and HAVE.

The words being used in communication are the basis upon which everything is built; they form the agreed-upon shared reality between teacher and pupil. A word means what it means and not something else - that meaning must be known and understood before any effective communication can proceed. This forms the base, the BE of the activity of study. It is from here that all else extends. With this in place all of the communication of the theory of the subject can be learned.

Personal involvement and experience are the DO of study. One needs to get involved in the actual activity being learned. One needs familiarity with the objects of study. One needs to see and feel and perceive everything about all of the applications involved. This is DO.

And finally there is HAVE. This is the accomplishment of the purpose of the course of study. The attainment of the goal.

Of course, throughout this one must maintain a suitable gradient in one’s progress. One starts at the begining, builds up step by step. Without a proper gradient it would be impossible to keep the above three principles in place. A “proper” gradient is one which is as fast as possible while keeping the three study principles in good order at all times. That is a proper gradient of study.

And that is Study Tech.

Take any student anywhere, check if they have a real purpose in studying their subject – the only valid purpose in studying anything is application. If they are studying just so they can know it and never use it or if they are studying it in order to prove the professor wrong, then poor performance is a certainty. One studies in order to understand and APPLY what one has learned. No other reason is valid.

Check the student for misunderstood words, wrongly understood words, not understood words, etc. They are sure to be present. Find them. They lie just before the end of where the student was last doing well. Get a dictionary, clear the word, use it in sentences until it is fully part of your vocabulary. Then find another word. And so on.

Get them involved in the practicalities and the doingness of the subject. Get your hands dirty. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Do it again and again. In the end you will KNOW your subject, in a very real and full sense of that word.

Keep these principles in place and the world of study will remain open to you. (LS)

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