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What Smart Students Know by Mind Map: What Smart Students Know
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What Smart Students Know

Principle #1

Nobody Can Teach You as Well as You Can Teach Yourself.

Because you know this, you can control any learning situation.  While teachers tell you what you have to learn, how you learn that material is your business. You adapt situations to your learning needs, not the other way around. No teacher, no matter how gifted or dedicated, knows how you think and process information better than you do.

Principle #2

Merely Listening to Your Teachers and Completing Their Assignments is Never Enough.

Because you know this, you do whatever it takes to learn the material in a course. Think of your teachers and assignments as the framework around which true personalized learning is built. You are constantly on the lookout for new and better sources of information and new and better ways to learn.  After all, that"s why you worked your way through this book.

Principle #3

Not Everything You Are Assigned to Read or Asked to Do Is Equally Important.

Because you know this, you set priorities and plan ahead.   You budget your time and focus on the most important tasks on your agenda.  And you apply this principle to your studying as well. You know the value of  concentrating your learning efforts on the most important aspects of a course rather than becoming overwhelmed by trying to absorb everything.

Principle #4

Grades Are Just Subjective Opinions.

Because you know this, you don"t get overly upset with bad grades (or overly excited by good ones).   Besides, you"re not in it for the grades (Principle #11).   Since grades are important, you also make a point to get to know the personal likes, dislikes, and biases of the person who decides them - your teacher. But doing the best you possibly can - mastering a subject to the best of your ability - is your true goal.

Principle #5

Making Mistakes (and Occasionally Appearing Foolish) Is the Price You Pay for Learning and Improving.

And it"s a price you"re more than willing to pay.  In the learning process, mistakes are as important as successes. Young children have a nearly unlimited aptitude for learning owing to their willingness to make mistakes.  Observe them some time.

Principle #6

The Point of a Question Is to Get You to Think - Not Simply to Answer It.

Because you know this, you are always looking for different perspectives, different answers, and different methods to solve problems. You see questions as challenges, not threats, and you approach obvious answers with skepticism.

Principle #7

You're In School to Learn to Think for Yourself, Not to Repeat What Your Textbooks and Teachers Tell You.

Because you know this, you take nothing at face value. You question everything, especially authority and most especially yourself.  And I hope you"ve questioned the ideas I"ve presented in this book.   Only through constant challenging and reaching beyond limitations does anyone learn anything of significance.

Principle #11

If You're Doing It for the Grades or for the Approval of Others, You're Missing the Satisfaction of the Process and Putting Your Self-Esteem at the Mercy of Things Outside Your Control.

Because you know this, you work hard for yourself first. Of course it"s nice to get good grades and to impress those who care about you. But that can"t be why you work so hard.   You work hard and you excel because it makes you feel good, and because you realize that you alone will live with the consequences of your education. Praise is great but its flip side is disapproval, which can derail learning and undermine your sense of yourself and your abilities. As a smart student you know that true gratification - like true learning - is something that comes from within.

Principle #10

How Well You Do in School Reflects Your Attitude and Your Method, Not Your Ability.

Because you know this, you don"t take academic mistakes or disappointments personally.  There"s nothing wrong with you; it"s just your attitude or method that needs adjusting. The material is the material; there will always be something you don"t understand.  You are what is constantly changing. Once you begin to see all classes and topics as within your control, you can work on fine-tuning what you must do to master them.

Principle #9

Few Things Are as Potentially Difficult, Frustrating, or Frightening as Genuine Learning, Yet Nothing Is So Empowering.

Again, it"s a price you"re more than willing to pay.  Learning does not end when the bell rings or you grab your diploma.   It literally is the stuff of life.  The alternative to questioning, grasping, and moving forward every day of your life is much more restful but far less exciting and gratifying.   It takes courage and hard work to tackle the unknown, but each time you do it will be easier and less frightening - and soon you"ll be hooked.

Principle #8

Subjects Do Not Always Seem Interesting or Relevant, but Being Actively Engaged in Learning Them is Better than Being Passively Bored and Not Learning Them.

Because you know this, you are willing, even eager, to learn things that other students might find boring.  Few things are boring to you.   You may not be interested in the subject, but you are always interested in your questions about it. If you are bored or distracted in class, you realize it means you aren"t learning - and you do something about it. You know that learning is an ongoing dialogue and investigation, and that you must upload your end or discovery comes to a screeching halt.

Principle #12

School Is a Game, but It's a Very Important Game.

Because you know this, you keep everything in perspective. Even though you know that a lot of what goes on at school has nothing to do with learning, you play the game anyway. And you play to win.