A TOOLKIT FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS
Readings and Exercises
1. Introduction – Appreciative Inquiry
2. What Do I need to know to pass the course?
3. How do I learn?
4. How do I respond to different teaching styles?
5. How do I get the most out of reading stuff?
6. How Can I take good notes?
7. What are research skills ?
8. How do I improve my writing?
9. How do I set goals?
10. What motivates me to achieve?
11. How do I cope with stress?
12. What is Time Management ?
You probably skip introductions as a rule – but this time we know
you’ll read it because that’s what we’ll do in our first class.
If you are ready to think about a career in science – then
introductions and summaries are going to be “prescribed reading”.
That’s because these two formats contain the information that you will need to analyse or to action the body of work in front of you.
This body of work contains several tools that will help you make sense of your course, your thinking, your science and your study path.
We will cover styles of teaching and learning, basic reading, writing and note taking skills, comprehension and analysis, research skills, time and stress management – and goal setting.
At the end of our time together you should have a range of tools you can call on to pass this science course . We have adapted this material from a number of sources freely available on the net. Please visit these sites and read the material there. You will pick up a number of hints on study not covered here. And it will improve your research skills!
We will also cover the feelings, events and responses you might have during this year. These are mostly predictable and that is always a comfort.
Now, if you are ready to begin – take a deep breath and get ready
to find out more about the people you’ll be travelling with this year.
We’ll do this by a method called Appreciative Inquiry.
Your task is to interview your partner. You must ask only positive questions and the aim is to receive positive answers. If your partner begins to give you negative information – redirect them to the original question.
Pay attention to their answers. You will not be asked to read these answers out to the class – these are for your interview partner.
Question 1 (record the answers in the space given)
What are you good at?
What excites you about going to TAFE?
What subjects do you think you’ll do well at and enjoy?
What’s the best learning experience you can recall?
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
What’s important to you right now?
2. What do I need to know to pass the course?
You will need to know how to:
; Read efficiently
; Write in plain, well constructed English
; Analyse scientific abstracts, reports, essays and articles
; Apply the principles of Time management
; Apply the principles of Stress Management
; Understand your own capacity to learn and to teach
; Conduct desktop research on a specific subject
; Work in a team
; Understand your motivation and thus how to set achievable
goals for yourself
You will need to know that during the course you will change. This means that people will ask you why you are different – why you
have different interests, priorities, ideas and friends. Families may be jealous of your new life. Good friends from your old school may feel left out. And all this can be stressful.
You also need to know that there are regular times through the year where you may go through a series of major and minor crises. Usually around Easter, First Semester break and September.
This is where you think “I can’t do all this!”, “I can’t cope”, “I’m not sure what I’m doing”. THIS IS NORMAL. Stick to it – ask teachers
and student support for help. You’ll be surprised at what you are
able to achieve.
3. How Do I Learn?
Learning modes made simple
NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) originated in America in the mid-1970’s
when John Grinder and Richard Bandler modelled outstanding communicators.
In essence they found that words and body language are linked to the way we think.
As we get more experience in learning with others we begin to realise that there really are people who don’t listen to what we say and who therefore make mistakes about us.. This is different to the experience of telling someone who doesn’t want to hear – many students and teachers just don’t
seem to be able to take in specific information.
What is it and how do I do it?
We receive and process information in what is known as a “preferred mode”.
This mode can be Visual, Aural or Kinaesthetic.
Or in plain English - Sight, Sound and Touch.
We learn in these preferred modes. You can probably identify your own preferred mode by considering how you learn – for example – when a new
computer is placed on your desk.
Make sure all the plugs are in, switch it on and play with the keyboard? Call the IT person to talk you through booting up procedures? Have a quick look at the manual and maybe write down a couple of the important steps to remind yourself?
; The first mode is basically kinaesthetic – or “hands on”
; The second is aural – you respond well to verbal information