Study and Mental Processing

Study means Mental Processing

You should remember the two images of the little head on the home page.

Image of a head with information going in and coming out - leaving the head empty

Information In – Information out – leaving the student with an empty head

The first image shows information going into the head and out of the head, but the poor student is left with nothing. This is all too often what happens with students.

They read the book – and hear lectures, they cram for a test and even make a good grade, but within weeks or months they realize they remember little or nothing. That doesn’t seem right.

The second image is different.

This image of the head shows information processed in the brain -leading to memory.
Information In and Processed in the Brain. Information Out but the information remains.

The information that comes into the brain now goes through MENTAL PROCESSING.
The student STUDIED the material.

Did you think the student shown in the first image really studied? He did his best to remember the information long enough to survive the test, but he had no intention of remembering any longer. When you cram information into your head,  it all falls out again.

Using STUDY SKILLS, the student intends to  learn the information.

He organizes the material in a variety of ways… using both verbal and visual strategies.

She thinks about whats she is learning. She might use several of the ten ways of thinking.

By now, He has already moved  much of this information from short-term memory to long-term memory, but he uses several of the ten ways to remember.

She knows she won’t remember everything.  But, because she has a deeper understanding of the material, she will remember a great deal. She might be surprised  to find that after several years, she remembers much of what she learned.

The next two quotes from Caine and Caine’s excellent book, Making Connections, describe many of  the most important concepts behind this website.

Many educators … have assumed that learning takes place primarily through memorization of facts and specific skills. This is like looking at the moon and believing that we have understood the solar system. There is more. Almost ignored is the immense capacity of the brain to deal with and instantly remember the moment-to-moment events that constitute life experience. — Caine and Caine, Making Connections p.4

Caine and Caine describe this as “Brain-based Learning.”

Although the content is rigorous and intellectually challenging, students experience a high degree of self-motivation. It acknowledges and encourages the brain’s ability to integrate vast amounts of information. It involves the entire learner in a challenging learning process that simultaneously engages the intellect, creativity, emotions, and physiology. It allows for the unique abilities and contributions from the learner … It appreciates the interpenetration of parts and wholes by connecting what is learned to the greater picture and allowing learners to investigate the parts within the whole. Brain-based learning is meaningful to the learner. What is learned makes sense.
—–   Caine and Caine, Making Connections p 8-9

Mental Processing Strategies:  Study Skills 

      Verbal Processing Strategies            

Ask Questions                                Reading Notes

Outline                                              Summary

Discuss, Debate, Argue                 Explain

Thesis                                               Evidence and Examples

Telling Stories                                Metaphors

Journaling                                    Evaluate and Critique

      Visual Processing Strategies

 Mathematics                               Statistics

 Diagrams                                      Maps

 Timelines                                       Flow Charts

 Cause and Effect                          Webbing Relationships

  Concept Maps                            Branching Diagrams

 Compare and Contrast              Matrix Charts

The introductory pages for both Verbal and Visual Processing Strategies describe the relationships between the two kinds of strategies. They describe the relationships from different perspectives so you will find it helpful to read both of them.

Leave a Reply