Lifelong learning is an increasingly discussed issue at the governmental level, as well as professional groups and educational institutions. “Learning is the key to prosperity – for each of us as individuals, as well as for the nation as a whole. Investment in human capital will be the foundation of success in the knowledge-based global economy of the twenty-first century. This is why the Government (in UK as in many other countries) has put learning at the heart of its ambition. Our first policy paper addressed school standards. This Green Paper sets out for consultation how learning throughout life will build human capital by encouraging the acquisition of knowledge and skills and emphasizing creativity and imagination. The fostering of an inquiring mind and the love of learning are essential to our future success…” (Blunkett, 1998)
There are many different ways of learning and these are all thought of under a general heading called the study skills. The learning is of different kinds. There is the learning of physical skills, like catching a ball and riding a bicycle, which can be perfected with practice of the related activities, until eventually you do not even have to think for these actions become automatic.
But with reference to gaining knowledge there are different kinds of skills needed to learn. Some of these relate to forming habits of study. Like setting a timetable for the study, when to sit down to study, how long to study for, and when to have breaks. For concentration is not held for long periods and having short breaks can help one feel more energetic. One also needs to develop own techniques to allow one to speed up particular tasks like making notes, filing information, etc.
Study skills are essential to academic achievement. We should have developed these skills as we progressed through school. However, most of us need to revisit and refresh our study skills as we move through the academic years. Study skills are ever more important to learning as they help us to develop our strategies for learning. Everyone learns in the manner most comfortable to him or her. Therefore it is essential to discover how YOU learn best. These will include:
• Literature Review
• Preparing for Lecture
• Making Notes
• Use of Concept Mapping to aid memory
• Essay Writing
• Seminar Presentations
• Time Management
• Exam Techniques
For example, knowledge can be gained by reading and understanding as well as applying it to reality. The skills can be gained by doing and practicing, while attitudes are gained by reading and understanding and observation of the society around us.