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Thursday, 21 June 2012

20 Memory Techniques (Part 3)

4.       Learn actively. Action is a great memory enhancer. Test this theory by studying your assignments with the same energy that you bring to the dance floor or basketball court.

You can use simple, direct methods to infuse your learning with action. When you sit at your desk, sit up straight. Sit on the edge of your chair, as if you were about to spring out of it and sprint across the room.

Also experiment with standing up when you study. It’s harder to fall asleep in this position. Some people insist that their brains work better when they stand. Pace back and forth and gesture as you recite material out loud. Use your hands get your body moving.

This includes your mouth. During lecture, ask questions. With your textbooks, read key passages out loud. Use a louder voice for the main points.

Active learning also involves a variety of learning styles. In my blog I will add an article about “Learning styles: Discovering how you learn” which, will explain in large detail four aspects of learning: concrete experience, abstract conceptualization, active experimentation, and reflective observation. Many courses in higher education lean heavily toward abstract conceptualization – lectures, papers, and reading. These courses might not offer chances to actively experiment with ideas or test them in concrete experience.

Create those opportunities yourself. For example, your introductory psychology book probably offers some theories about how people remember information. Choose one of those theories and test it on yourself. See if you can discover a new memory technique.

Your sociology class might include a discussion about how groups of people resolve conflict. See it you can apply any of these ideas to resolving conflict in your own family.

The point behind each of these examples is the same: to remember an idea, go beyond thinking about it. Do something with it.   

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