Saturday, August 30, 2008

Plot, Prediction and Studying

Providing an environment of study can be a challenge. Its better to study in a noisy and predictable environment than in a quite threatening atmosphere.

As human beings we are endowed with a complex time space movement system. It remembers the past, can respond to the present and wants to predict the future. The key is to reduce prediction errors.

The home environment for the child to study needs to be predictable. If there are many surprises happening at home it will make the prediction mechanism of the child to work over time, thereby affecting the concentration of the child?

To help the child make better predictions and focus on the subject the child must be equipped with various experiences of the environment that are easily predictable. Limited relevant information and/or experience often lead to unsuccessful response as much as new experiences.

While reading a book within a short time we will have an idea of the plot, provided we have read such novels. But we carry on with the reading since our problem solving system, with prior experiences, is trying to unravel and predict the plot. I continue to read because of the limited information available and don’t have confidence in my prediction. I am trying to match my wits with that of the author and the author in turn takes me through complicated twists and turns and makes it challenging for me. The more I read the more I unravel the mystery and get pleasure in proving my predictions.

This complex predictive process can be in a novel but it needs to be simplified as you build a learning environment at home. The child must be familiar with every sound or movement that happens as he/she is studying. This familiarity will help the child resolve the challenges or threats of the environment in a short time and actually make the child feel good about the right prediction (just the way you will feel good if you can predict a novel accurately by reading 3o pages). This feel good will actually help the child in study by setting the mind on problem solving mode and help in handling the challenges of the lessons with ease. Surely it’s far better than studying in a very quite or silent environment.

There must be discipline or a system that needs to be followed. If the child reads in an easily predictive environment both at school and at home the chances are the attentional focus will be completely devoted to study and the rapid solving the inconsistencies or insecurities in the environment will actually help the child while studying provided the child is familiar with it. Its better than studying in an very quite environment the child is not familiar with.

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