by: Eduardo Marentes
If you or your child have plans for university or college level education, it is critically important that you begin with a realistic assessment of your skills and knowledge of Math and Science. Indeed, a solid understanding of high school curriculum, together with strong marks will not only broaden the prospects for admission to these institutions of higher education , but will also determine how successful you will be in achieving your post-secondary goals and dreams.
Though we may not always realize it, the sciences and maths touch many parts of our lives. There are obvious examples such as the Internet, mobile phones, X-ray and MRI scanners in hospitals, vaccines and other important medicines to name a few. But we can also think of engineers who design safe highways or the actuarial scientists and statisticians who determine how much we pay each month in car insurance to drive on those highways. Biologists who monitor and track the biodiversity of our wetlands and urban parks, to biophysicists and computer scientists who design artificial limbs. The yogurt you had for breakfast this morning was made in part by friendly bacteria, in contrast those the harmful microbes we so desperately need new antibiotics to treat. From fuel cells to DNA sequences, the list goes on and on. But what do these things all have in common? Well, all of these innovations were created by scientists and scholars schooled in various disciplines.
But who are these brilliant minds, and how do they work?
Everyone agrees that one’s mind must be nourished and taken care from early childhood to adulthood if we are to keep up with the fast-paced changes in the Sciences and Maths. Solid foundations in Science and Math are the keys to understanding many aspects of our lives such as economics, public health, environment genetics, biology, biotechnology, sustainability etc.
Did these brilliant minds have mentors and tutors to hone their academic abilities? Absolutely! Everyone can develop the critical study skills needed to think critically, analyze and synthesize information – but few of us are born with these skills. Luckily they can learned, if you know how to select the right tutor!
Over the last few years, it has been reported that about 14% of first year students drop out. Is this due to a lack of a solid high school education? Often our High school years provide student with the basic foundation of knowledge you need to get to university but it does not provide you with important skills to succeed. This is due to primarily to the content intensive curriculum of University Preparation courses which in many cases are offered on a semester-based so that teachers have little time to foster critical thinking and analytical exercises leaving students to achieve their learning expectations using rote memorization. Tutoring one-on-one does allow the student to engage in more in depth analysis of the material in addition to clarifying misconceptions and doubts. So what skills does a high school student need to be successful in high school and university? Without any doubt, students should be taught:
(1) How to properly research in science and apply mathematical principles
(2) How to cite sources,
(3) How to get through the readings and
(4) How to improve their note-taking and synthesis skills.
Here at Atomic Springboard Tutoring, we strive to help students develop their study skills that will carry them through high school and university and to increase students’ ability to do analysis and conceptual-thinking rather than rote memorization and regurgitation.