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Hello Sue: I am a very green lurker on the net and read your query re:
study skills in quantitative subjects. I work at Queen's university
in Kingston, Ontario. We are a 4 yr. university with graduate and
professional schools. Our learning resources services are VERY small,
myself and a colleague who have a total of four days a week devoted
to learning strategies counselling for the university. So I offer these
comments very gingerly. We will have the responsibilty next year of
presenting a brief non-credit course to Applied Science students
on probation. The course is meant to help them develop academic skills in
Math, Science, and other engineering subjects. This is daunting
for two people with postgrad training in Music and English. So we
hired a summer student to research the area for us. She has come up
with many useful resources; some she got through this listserve.
They range from John Polya's book on mathematical reasoning to the
books by Arthur Whimbey and Jack Lochhead. She found a good collection
of papers in a journal called Cognitive Proces Instruction, 1979. She
searched ERIC and the PSYCH index and obtained many articles discussing
the thinking/learning process involved in math/science subjects, as
well as articles discussing how to teach a relevant heuristic and
what else beyond having a heuristic is involved in successful
performance in these subject areas. She particularly looked at
abstract reasoning skills, attention and concentration skills,
and reasoning by analogy because those were the areas of deficiencies we identi
fied in our student group when we did some diagnostic testing. If any
of this is of interest to you, or relevant, please send me a mailing
address and I will send you a bibliography, and any photocopies
we have. While few of the books or articles actually are succinct,
focused study skills type manuals, they suggest what should be
addressed in such study skills sessions, and provide a theoretical
foundation from which one could create sessions or a course - we
think. As I say, I offer this hesitantly as we are very new at all this.
Best regards, Elizabeth Schumaker, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont.