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A Psychology of Study

A Psychology of Study

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Published by Anurag Chand
Learn the method to make notes and study
Learn the method to make notes and study

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Published by: Anurag Chand on Mar 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/21/2013

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HOW TO USE YOUR MINDA PSYCHOLOGY OF STUDYBEING A MANUAL FOR THE USE OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS IN THEADMINISTRATION OF SUPERVISED STUDYBYHARRY D. KITSON, PH.D.PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, INDIANA UNIVERSITY1921PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITIONThe kindly reception accorded to the first edition of this book hasconfirmed the author in his conviction that such a book was needed, andhas tempted him to bestow additional labor upon it. The chief changesconsist in the addition of two new chapters, "Active Imagination," and"How to Develop Interest in a Subject"; the division into two parts ofthe unwieldy chapter on memory; the addition of readings and exercisesat the end of each chapter; the preparation of an analytical table ofcontents; the correction of the bibliography to date; the addition ofan index; and some recasting of phraseology in the interest ofclearness and emphasis.The author gratefully acknowledges the constructive suggestions ofreviewers and others who have used the book, and hopes that he hasprofited by them in this revision.H.D.K.April 1, 1921.PREFACE TO THE FIRSTEDITIONEducational leaders are seeing with increasing clearness the necessityof teaching students not only the subject-matter of study but also
 
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methods of study. Teachers are beginning to see that students waste avast amount of time and form many harmful habits because they do notknow how to use their minds. The recognition of this condition istaking the form of the movement toward "supervised study," whichattempts to acquaint the student with principles of economy anddirectness in using his mind. It is generally agreed that there arecertain "tricks" which make for mental efficiency, consisting ofmethods of apperceiving facts, methods of review, devices for arrangingwork. Some are the fruits of psychological experimentation; others arederived from experience. Many of them can be imparted by instruction,and it is for the purpose of systematizing these and making themavailable for students that this book is prepared.The evils of unintelligent and unsupervised study are evident to allwho have any connection with modern education. They pervade the entireeducational structure from kindergarten through college. In collegethey are especially apparent in the case of freshmen, who, in additionto the numerous difficulties incident to entrance into the collegeworld, suffer peculiarly because they do not know how to attack thedifficult subjects of the curriculum. In recognition of theseconditions, special attention is given at The University of Chicagotoward supervision of study. All freshmen in the School of Commerce andAdministration of the University are given a course in Methods ofStudy, in which practical discussions and demonstrations are givenregarding the ways of studying the freshman subjects. In addition tothe group-work, cases presenting special features are given individualattention, for it must be admitted that while certain difficulties arecommon to all students, there are individual cases that presentpeculiar phases and these can be served only by personal consultations.These personal consultations are expensive both in time and patience,for it frequently happens that the mental habits of a student must bethoroughly reconstructed, and this requires much time and attention,but the results well repay the effort. A valuable accessory to suchindividual supervision over students has been found in the use ofpsychological tests which have been described by the author in amonograph entitled, "The Scientific Study of the College Student."[1][Footnote 1: Princeton University Press.]But the college is not the most strategic point at which to administerguidance in methods of study. Such training is even more acceptablygiven in the high school and grades. Here habits of mental applicationare largely set, and it is of the utmost importance that they be setright, for the sake of the welfare of the individuals and of theinstitutions of higher education that receive them later. Anotherreason for incorporating training in methods of study into secondaryand elementary schools is that more individuals will be helped,inasmuch as the eliminative process has not yet reached its
 
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culmination.In high schools where systematic supervision of study is a feature,classes are usually conducted in Methods of Study, and it is hoped thatthis book will meet the demand for a text-book for such classes, thematerial being well within the reach of high school students. In highschools where instruction in Methods of Study is given as part of acourse in elementary psychology, the book should also prove useful,inasmuch as it gives a summary of psychological principles relating tothe cognitive processes.In the grades the book cannot be put into the hands of the pupils, butit should be mastered by the teacher and applied in her supervising andteaching activities. Embodying, as it does, the results of researchesin educational psychology, it should prove especially suitable for usein teachers' reading circles where a concise presentation of the factsregarding the psychology of the learning process is desired.There is another group of students who need training in methods ofstudy. Brain workers in business and industry feel deeply the need ofgreater mental efficiency and seek eagerly for means to attain it.Their earnestness in this search is evidenced by the success of varioussystems for the training of memory, will, and other mental traits.Further evidence is found in the efforts of many corporations tomaintain schools and classes for the intellectual improvement of theiremployees. To all such the author offers the work with the hope that itmay be useful in directing them toward greater mental efficiency.In courses in Methods of Study in which the book is used as aclass-text, the instructor should lay emphasis not upon memorization ofthe facts in the book, but upon the application of them in study. Heshould expect to see parallel with progress through the book,improvement in the mental ability of the students. Specific problemsmay well be arranged on the basis of the subjects of the curriculum,and students should be urged to utilize the suggestions immediately.The subjects treated in the book are those which the author has foundin his experience with college students to constitute the most frequentsources of difficulty, and under these conditions, the sequence oftopics followed in the book has seemed most favorable for presentation.With other groups of students, however, another sequence of topics maybe found desirable; if so, the order of topics may be changed. Forexample, in case the chapter on brain action is found to presupposemore physiological knowledge than that possessed by the students, itmay be omitted or may be used merely for reference when enlightenmentis desired upon some of the physiological descriptions in laterchapters. Likewise, the chapter dealing with intellectual difficultiesof college students may be omitted with non-collegiate groups.

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