Knowledge is infinite, growing exponentially every day. What is the way to do deal with this infinite ever-growing information?
The students, who have to give exams, ask this simple question before the every exam of life because sometimes, they either don’t like the subject or they don’t study it from before. How to tackle this?
I successfully found out a way to tackle this, that suits me personally. I would love it if this technique suits others too. That’s why I am sharing the idea via this post.
The idea of any curriculum is like concentric circles, increasing in radius every semester. The idea of a curriculum of a subject is always bounded, that is it is finite. Then maybe we can have an efficient way to tackle this in a small amount of time. But how?
Now, this method can be applied while reading a research paper, or a chapter, or understanding something, etc. But here, I will discuss about Mathematics, and you can correspondingly generalize.
Consider the syllabus as a full disc! Now, think of you have to color the full disc only. Remember how we use to color anything, we first color the boundary and slowly we came in right? We will follow the exact same procedure.
But, what is the boundary of the knowledge? That is an extremely valid question. The boundary of the syllabus is the most important result, ideas in the whole thing. In understanding something purely Mathematical, those objects are Theorem, Lemmas, Facts, etc.
In history, that may be the important events, the important checkpoints, I call which is the sort of starting point. You have to have that intuition, ideas, and focus.
The next step is to connect these important checkpoints, how they are related to each other? This is also called the Bird’s Eye View of a topic (limited). It can be called a survey.
Now, this is the essential building block, the shape giving the structure of the knowledge. In the case of Mathematics or Sciences, they often approach a pre-made goal. If they can’t hit that goal, they hit another thing equally important. In the case of any theory, I believe, there is this inherent pattern.
I have been following this pattern subconsciously to understand the subjects, I am learning from school, and it proved successful. I think it will help you too, as I have used this method to teach my friends as well as my students. It even works just two days before the exam with 40+ pages to learn.
So, once you develop this basic structure, the rest of the building will grow very quickly, if you have all the ingredients of the knowledge.
So, learning a subject includes:
Engineering the Basic Structure:
- Identifying the Basic Structural Elements called Checkpoints. ( Theorems, Lemmas, etc)
- Devising and Understanding the connections and link between them, that is leading to a connected things between all the components.
- Understand the links, describe the links. They are the most important thinking ideas about the topics, the links almost have a pattern in them.
Building the House:
- Try to build the house, do the microanalysis, try to fill up the gaps, read between the lines.
- Use the basic structure method in the upper level to understand in detail. For eg: Understanding a single lemma.
This is the entire idea. It will help you to understand the subject with clarity and also will help you to train yourself to think in the same way, which will enhance your research and own thinking skills.
I will add if I get to discover this process in more detail.