I know nothing about study groups. I have no idea how that happened.
4 years in college and I wasn’t part of a single study group. Certainly not in High School. Was it like everyone was having a party and I wasn’t invited? I regret missing out on this it to this day (and “this day” is [snort, snort] many moons later).
I think study groups would have enhanced my college experience, helped with my studies and improved my grades. Not to mention having a support group to help get through the tough classes.
So having confessed I know nothing about this topic, I’m going to write about it, anyway, because that’s what I do. I’m a Daddy Blogger and (a) I hadn’t realized that I was a Daddy Blogger until someone told me so and (b) is there such a thing? I’ve heard of Mommy Bloggers, but Daddy?)
STUDY GROUPS IN THE MOVIES
I’m going to make some assumptions based on movies I’ve seen. Even if I’m only partially correct in these assumptions, there will be a point to be made at the end, I promise.
So, in the movies, I only see study groups with college kids who are either studying law or medicine. You never see an engineering study group or a journalism study group.
My assumption based on hardly any evidence at all, is that study groups are mostly popular only with the severely high pressure areas of academia. And, if study groups were used by others, it might be only occasionally and just before a test.
DON’T MISS OUT
I suggest that most students are missing out, as did I. I don’t think study groups should replace individual studying; far from it. Students should prepare for a study group by learning the material beforehand.
The study group should be used for review and reinforcement of what has been learned. For sharing new ideas or approaches, which requires strong grounding in the subject matter first. Also, a study group can help when a member simply doesn’t understand something and needs help.
Mostly, though, a study group can be used to hold the student’s toes to the fire, as it were. Unless they want to be completely humiliated, any student will be very motivated to know the material before being tested by their peers. Nothing worse that looking stupid in front of fellow students.
I would suggest that this type of peer pressure is much more effective than any type of punishment, threats or even support parents can offer. And that’s only because they are “parents”. Let’s face it, when we really want our children to learn something key, isn’t it always more effective when it comes from a objective 3rd party, rather than a parent?
How many times have we seen that what we said went in one ear and out the other. Yet the moment our wonderful child hears the exact same thing from a friend, it suddenly makes sense. Ah, the joy of parenthood.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL COLLEGE
I also suggest that students create and join study groups in High School – don’t wait until college. Aside from pure academic help, a study group can also aid in social skills development, particularly with a shy child.
I’m sounding more and more like an expert, huh. I’m not going to go into how to create a study group – there are plenty of resources on-line. Here’s one I found that seems pretty good.
My point is that study groups appear to be a simple and possibly effective way to support students on their path to success and can be utilized in all areas of study.
Don’t let your student miss out…like I did.