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Around 30-odd years ago at the FE College at which I then worked, I took it upon myself to create a whole bundle of “Study Skills” materials covering things like Essay-writing, Note-taking, Time Management, How to revise and so forth. I’ve still got them somewhere.

Probably in the attic, because that’s where most of them ended-up: unwanted and unloved.

The idea was to create some kind of nascent “Study Skills Department” that would sit alongside A-level teaching and support students in their academic work.

As you might expect, it was an initiative that met with not so much as a deafening silence as active bemusement. Why, exactly, did you need to teach “so-called Skills” to A-level students who should have them in abundance simply because they were studying at this level? The idea students might benefit from “learning how to learn” was seen as not so much a radical idea as more a general waste of eveyone’s time…

Spin-forward to the present and the idea of not teaching study skills probably seems as odd as the idea of teaching them once appeared and it’s into this space that this interesting little (if 20-odd pages counts as little) booklet authored by Andrew Mitchell falls.

As you might expect, there’s nothing particularly new or revolutionary here, but it is free and it’s often useful to have stuff neatly gathered into one convenient place.

So, if you’re looking for some fairly standard and painless “Learning Skills” information to use with or distribute to your students this covers all the usual suspects: from advice on “How to be a good ‘independent learner’” to a range of study skills and how to apply them in contexts like homework, revision, exam preparation and technique.

There’s also a section dealing with stuff like Time Management, Presentation skills, critical thinking  and something called “Emotional study skill” (no, me neither – probably includes something about “Mindfulness” though ) if you need it.

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