My experience with Greenfields and ‘Study Technology’

03 Apr 2013

Teachers have long been aware that children assimilate information at different speeds – put simply – some are fast and some are slow. That is why schools have different streams that optimistically place children of different speeds and intelligence into different levels to at least partially handle the problem. However, this system is limited as it does not solve omissions in studying a subject due to absences, or problems due to concentration, or large classes where the speed at which a child assimilates information still varies wildly. It also fails to handle the situation many children face of simply not being able to understand or ‘get interested’ in a subject.

Who hasn’t had the experience at school of not grasping a particular point being explained by a teacher, feeling drowsy, going a bit numb, getting irritated or sitting out the rest of the lesson counting down the seconds until the bell goes? I know I have!

My most notable experience was in studying Chemistry. This is a subject I liked and was an A student in until I was 13. Then on one fateful day, the teacher tried to teach us how to calculate ‘molecular weights of atoms’ – and lost me completely. I simply did not understand how to use these mathematical formulas. I became upset, tearful, angry and finally withdrew from the whole subject and in subsequent lessons when these mathematical formulas where mentioned would re-experience the numb, frustrated, blank hopelessness of it all. Chemistry went from being a subject I was interested in to being one that I was ‘indifferent’ to – some form of protection against feeling stupid I imagine. But I remained ‘indifferent’ right through to my GCSE in Chemistry in which I famously failed my mock exams with a score of 3%. According to my teacher (now in a state of chronic sarcasm due to not understanding why an A student had been reduced to an idiot almost overnight), I got the 3% for getting the date right. She was as frustrated as I was but did not have the data as to what causes such problems or how to solve them.

This kind of failure is common in schools which do not know about or apply the discoveries made by L. Ron Hubbard™ referred to as ‘Study Technology’. This method isolates the barriers preventing or hindering a child from learning and then provides precise tools to deal with them. Its use allows any child of any ability to learn anything.

An example is something called a ‘checksheet’ which exists for each subject studied. This is a list of items that give specific text to read, diagrams to do, experiments to make, things to practise etc. Each item is taken one by one at each child’s own speed so that anything not understood or lessons missed does not mean the child misses something that needs to be studied. Teachers are there in a supervisory capacity to help with any questions and to make sure each item has been fully understood before moving on to the next item. This enables slower children to receive extra help if needed and faster children to study ahead of their year if necessary. Even children with ‘learning disabilities’ can be brought up to a competent level whilst those who assimilate faster are not limited at all. The overall result of being able to study anything gives children confidence in their ability to apply what they learn – not to mention greater success in exams.

Students at Greenfields become familiar with the Study Technology, as delivered through the Study Technology courses beginning with ‘Learning How to Learn.’ They then progress through ‘How to Use a Dictionary’ and the ‘Grammar and Communication’ course. In the Upper School, senior students complete the ‘Study Skills for Life’ course and the ‘Basic Study Manual’, both of which have internships to ensure that they become adept at applying the technology.

I wish I had had access to such information when I was at school as my career may have been quite different had I known how to study properly and sort myself out when I encountered problems. This is one of the reasons I work hard to keep my son at Greenfields. I want him to have the best chance he can. I want him to be able to study anything he wishes and to be able to sort things out when he finds himself lagging in a subject. A worthwhile goal for any parent I think.

GB – Greenfields staff and parent