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Essay About the Positive and or Negative Effects of Studying Alone or Studying in a Group

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It’s a long-debated topic: Is group studying more effective than studying alone? We’ve all experienced getting together with classmates to study for an upcoming exam and spending the entire time gossiping, talking or joking around. You leave the group without accomplishing anything to get you ready for your exam. So, if people can be too distracting, how can group studying be more effective than studying alone? Surprisingly, there are benefits to both methods.

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People ask questions and make additions as each summary is presented, including asking questions that they think might be on the exam. You all try to determine the answers from your notes and the text, making notes on what you learn. After an hour or so, you take a ten-minute break, and then get back to work. As this example shows, group study can be a very effective way to study if (and only if) everyone does what he or she has agreed to do. Another way to take advantage of the knowledge pooled in such a group is to use a round-robin question technique

First the material is divided up into topics which are taken one at a time. The first student takes one aspect of the material and predicts a test question based on it. The next student in the circle tries to give the best possible answer to the question. The next student tries to add information, to develop another way of organizing the answer, or to suggest variations on the question. Each student in turn tries to add to the original answer until the circle comes back again to the one who originally answered the question. The next student then poses another question, and the process starts again. This way all students have a chance to predict questions and to add information that will be of help to others.

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Alone learning makes it possible for a person to overcome any social restrictions to his learning. In some cases, society might prevent certain people from learning. This was the case for Sherman who states that ” we were Indian children who were expected to be stupid” (Malcolm X, 1965). In such an environment, the classroom learning is downgraded and a person cannot attain any meaningful education. Through alone learning, the individual is able to attain a higher level of learning by reading books with relevant information. It is true that in a discriminatory society, a section of the population might be denied of their right to learn. When such a thing occurs, alone learning might provide greater knowledge that classroom learning. However, even in such a situation, classroom learning is necessary for the individual to gain perspective of his learning progress. The individual is able to tell of his progress by comparing his abilities with that of the other students. Sherman reveals that he was able to read “‘Grapes of Wrath’ in kindergarten when other children are struggling through ‘Dick and Jane’”. Without the classroom learning, he would not have been motivated to keep reading and achieve success in his life. A person is able to acquire more expansive and unbiased information through personal learning. As it is, there is a vast amount of information that a person can learn independently. In the classroom setting, the student’s learning is confined to the topics that the teacher chooses. In most cases, information is interpreted in the way that the school administration wants. There is therefore a lot of bias when presenting some information. This is not the case when learning alone since a person can read from various sources. Malcolm X reveals his horror when he learnt about the brutality of slavery through his own reading (Paduraru, Carmen, 2006). He had not been able to receive information about the horrors of slavery in his classroom learning years

It is true that classroom learning is prone to bias by the teacher or the school administration.

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As shown above, every single person studies and performs in different ways, whether that be with a group of friends or independently

Studying is no different. In order to succeed you must try each option and stick to what works. Personally, I enjoy studying with groups because I feel less stress and feel like they keep me on task more often. When I am studying alone I can sometimes catch myself an hour into random videos on YouTube. Each method has several different advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide which method will yield the best results.

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Malcolm X. Learning to read, The Autobiography of Malcolm X MALCOLM X. NY: Grove Press, 1965. Print.

Paduraru, Carmen. The Advantages of Traditional Classroom Learning. Jan. 2006. Web. .

Sherman, Alexie. “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me.” Los Angeles Times 19 April 1998. Print.

Weimer, Maryellen. 10 Benefits of Getting Students to Participate in Classroom Discussions. 15. Feb. 2011. Web. .

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