Now that the term is half over and we are heading into the home stretch, you may find yourself analyzing your performance thus far. You are now beginning to see what is and what isn’t working for you with regards to your academic learning strategy. It is easy to keep doing the things that are working for you, but the challenge is to find more effective ways for things that aren’t working for you.
Successful students are strategic thinkers who have found effective solutions to challenges that they are seeing in their learning strategy. They are able to step back and analyze why it isn’t working for them and then adjust their learning strategy to make it more effective, which allows them to persist.
Persistence vs Tenacity
The words persistence and tenacity are currently being used interchangeably in meaning and application. Those who persist or are tenacious, are finding ways to overcome a task or find a solution to a problem. However, they reflect two different trains of thought and levels of thinking.
One who persists will devise a possible solution to a task or problem and then will strictly follow the process to find the solution, regardless if the process is inefficient or flawed. Persistent learners put their head down and attack the issue at hand and work through the process. They will devise a plan of attack and stick with that plan until completion. They do not concern themselves with the effectiveness or how to improve the plan. These learners are characterized as those who “work harder and not smarter.”
On the contrary, the learners who are tenacious may have created an identical solution, but will constantly assess its effectiveness. They will utilize feedback throughout the process to ensure they are improving upon their strategy to create the most productive and efficient process in solving the task or problem. Strategic thinkers are characterized as those who “work smarter and not harder.”
The successful learner is the tenacious individual or strategic thinker. These learners have the ability to constantly assess their strategy throughout the learning process allowing the learner to create the most effective and efficient plan for success. They are aware of what is or isn’t working for them. They have the ability to develop a learning strategy and assess its effectiveness, which is the sign of a tenacious learner.
TENACIOUS LEARNERS are constantly seeking answers to these questions:
- Does your method of study and learning align with your learning preference?
- Is your note taking style appropriate to the subject matter?
- What is your strategy to read effectively and retain information?
- What is your test taking strategy?
You can’t plan on doing things the same way and expect different results. The key is to continually assess and improve your strategy. Being a tenacious, strategic thinker is your key to being a successful learner. Be sure to continually assess and improve your learning strategy. Work smarter, not harder!