Study techniques for the sensor feeler

SF Study Techniques

The SF learner likes to talk things through, and wants to know how the material at hand effects her life. How is it like something familiar and comfortable? You are functioning in your SF quadrant when you identify on a personal level with the material or subject.

The SF learner generally learns best when working with another SF learner. She needs to talk through the material. What happens is a specific cognitive process, where the SF is forming sentences about the content, using the vocabulary and saying something. Sometimes they will not be complete sentences, frequently at first they won't make a lot of sense or be strictly correct, but the sentences must be made and must be spoken out loud. The correctness and sense will come later as understanding improves.

I tell my SF students, if you study alone, talk to yourself. Talk to the walls. Talk to a mirror. Call you mother and tell her about it. She doesn't have to understand it, but she'll be glad to hear from you (and know you are studying) anyway!

When you begin new material, begin reading at the beginning of the chapter, taking care to assemble the details in order. Take notes while you are reading, either in outline form, or as numbered lists of facts. Every so often, perhaps every 5 to 10 minutes, or by sections in the text, stop and review what you have done so far. At this point, stop and talk about what you have read. explain the concepts. When you think you understand it thoroughly, write out a paragraph explaining it to a 5 to 7 year old child. (You don't have to have one of these children as a study assistant, an imaginary friend will do nicely!)

Don't let too much time go by before these little reviews. no more than 10 minutes. If there are problems to be worked, work a few of them each time you stop. If there are vocabulary words or terms, practice spelling the words, writing them out with the definitions a number of times until you know them well.

Break the material into manageable pieces, and work to *get* one piece down at a time, before you go on to the next piece. Remember, you are working to understand the material, not to just be able to regurgitate it.

If there are complex calculations to work:

  • Lay out a sample problem on evenly lined paper, preferably quadrille.
  • Identify the steps you go through to solve the problem, and what happens to each variable in the process.
  • Write out instructions for each step, not in terms of "plug and play" but in terms of the meaning of each variable.
  • Remember you are learning to solve the problems, not just plug numbers into an equation.
  • after you have done this, practice solving similar problems, and problems where different variables are given, where you must solve for different variables than in the sample problem.
  • Look at word problems from the chapter, and practice setting up the problems according to your steps.

Some parts of the ST and SF study skills are quite similar because both ST's and SF's are concrete learners. The major differences lie in ST's dong best alone, and SF's doing best with company. IF you are an SF and your roommate is an ST, you will need to accept her need for quiet, and not try to talk to her while she is studying. Find another SF to study with!