Learning to Learn

Here we use the Socratic method: I call on you; I ask you a question; you answer it. Why don’t I just give you a lecture? Because through my questions you learn to teach yourselves. By this method of questioning-answering, questioning-answering, we seek to develop in you the ability to analyze that vast complex of facts that constitutes the relationships of members within a given society.”

Professor Kingsfield


Learning must be an active process, in a researching way : the attempt to ask and answer questions systematically. The common question words: what, who, where, when, how,and why will help you to get started; along with the phrases: what if, what next,and so what.

Attempting to answer these questions systematically helps fulfill three vital functions for any serious study –  description, analysis and evaluation.

These are the things you need to do:

  1. Describe: to define clearly what you are talking about, say exactly what is involved, where it takes place, or under what circumstances. Fulfilling this function helps you to introduce a topic. More complex:description will become analysis.
  2. Analyze: examine and explain how parts fit into a whole; give reasons; compare and contrast different elements; show your understanding of relationships. In this way analysis forms the main part of any in-depth study.
  3. Evaluate: judge the success or failure of something, its implications and / or value. Evaluations lead us to conclusions or recommendations and are usually found at the end of a piece of academic work, a paper, chapter or other text.


learning, what?


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