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5.1.1 Technique 1: Self-talk—turning negative statements into positive ones

You can guide your thinking away from general worry and self-doubt by turning negative self-statements into positive ones. This strategy is useful in all aspects of life. Figure 5 relates to an unsuccessful job interview and illustrates the process.

Figure 5
Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

Do you feel that sometimes you don't do yourself justice in exams? Perhaps you've never taken an exam and are wondering how to prepare yourself. It may have been a long time since you took an exam, and you feel a need to refresh your technique. You may be looking for reassurance and advice because you've had a bad exam experience in the past.

This unit aims to help you to improve your own revision and exam techniques and reassure others who experience anxiety and stress over exams.


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10.2 Other sources of help

Websites

/ www.open.ac.uk/ goodstudyguide

This Open University site is a companion site to the Good Study Guide series of books.


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9.2 What is reflection?

Is reflection different to just thinking about your study? And how do we do it? Can someone teach you how to reflect or is it a matter of practice? Can everyone be reflective or are some students - and some people - more reflective than others?

There is no clear definition of reflection or precise way of describing what we mean by a reflective learner. But we can discuss some characteristics of the process, and encourage you to develop your own preferred ways of developing it.

Ref
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9.1 Reflection and the four main phases of learning how to learn

If your course encourages this approach to learning, or if you have read other material on learning how to learn, you may have come across the term 'reflection'. Maybe you have been encouraged to reflect on your learning or on your assignments. In this unit, we have deliberately not used the term until now. This is not because we think the term - or the process - is unimportant, but because it can seem vague and not particularly helpful to you as a learner. In fact, all the activities in this
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7.2 Learning from feedback

This is actually quite a difficult thing for any student to do. It is most effective when your assignment is returned, but by then you may have moved on to the next part of the course. Even so, you do need to make time to re-visit your assignment when it is returned and take note of your tutor's comments. It is the one time when your tutor is able to give feedback and advice to you as an individual student so it is well worth taking time to really absorb their comments. Try to separate
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4.2 Analysing the task

This involves you in analysing both the learning task, (e.g. working through the text, other readings, calculations, experiments) as well as the assessed task (e.g. the assignment). It is important to work out from the start just what this part of the course requires you to do as well as to know.

Activ
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7 Conclusion

Reading is a core activity in most courses of study. The purpose of it is to enable you to learn. But learning is not a passive process, you don't just let ideas wash over you. You have to make sense of them as you read and then use them to think with.

Key points


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4.1 Underlining and highlighting

To be able to make sense of what you are reading, you need to read actively. One method that can help is to use a pen.

Activity 2

Did you underline or highlight any words as you read the Layard article? If not, go back over the
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3.2 Reading to learn

In order to learn you need to follow the argument as you read. With an important text, you should slow right down and take it bit by bit. Here is a student describing how he tackled a particularly challenging chapter:

This intensive kind of reading is at the opposite end of the scale
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2.5 Poor environment

Were you held back at all in your reading by the environment you were reading in? Were you reading in bed, in the bath, sitting at a desk, on the bus, or in the park? Any of these could be a good time and place, but did it actually work for you?

Were you able to maintain your concentration fo
Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

Reading is easy, isn't it?

On any ordinary day without even noticing, you read shop signs, newspaper headlines, TV listings, a magazine, or a chapter of a paperback. So why would a message like this one appear in an online student chat room in the early weeks of a course?

Clearly, readi
Author(s): The Open University

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9 Putting it all together

We have covered a wide range of aspects of thinking, particularly those concerned with clear and critical thinking. At this stage, you may find it useful to consider how ideas like these can be put together in ways that will help you when you engage in activities such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. Here is a checklist to use when making judgements about things that you hear, see and experience.

  • Who is speaking or writing?

  • <
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7.1 Hierarchies of ideas

A useful way of giving sense and structure to ideas can sometimes be to see them in the form of a hierarchy. At one end is the ‘big picture’ (e.g. general context, principles, theories, ideas, concepts) and at the other end are particular facts, examples and other details. For example, the concept of living things contains the category of animals and plants. Animals contains the category of mammals, which contains the category of dogs, which contains the specific type of dog called Dalmat
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1 Overview

This Unit provides an introduction to thinking skills and ways of extending and developing your thinking.

But why do you need to do this?

Take a few moments to reflect on your reasons for looking at this Unit and ways in which you hope it will help you.

Perhaps you thought you would find it useful? Or maybe you have particular worries or concerns about thinking that have made you want to look at this issue in more depth. Looking at thinking skills is something that is not al
Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

This Unit is designed to take you on a journey of understanding. You will be introduced to a variety of thinking skills and ways of extending and developing your thinking. You will begin by looking at why thinking skills are important in education, and what kinds of skills are valued. You will then move on to some practical strategies and ideas for further activities and reading.


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5.1 Introduction

You have almost reached the end of Learning to change and we hope that you will continue to use learning to achieve change in your life. This section is an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned as a result of doing the unit. ‘Reflecting backwards’ is an important part of learning because it helps you to be clear about what you have learned. Looking back also enables you to hold on to what you have learned after the unit finishes. This means that you can ‘reflect
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References

Caruso, D.R. and Salovey, P. (2004) The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: How to Use and Develop the Four Key Emotional kills of Leadership, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.
Cochrane, A. and Pain, P. (2004) ‘A globalizing society?’ in Held, D. (ed.) A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics, 2nd edition, London, Routledge/The Open University.
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4.5 What might help and hinder you

Kurt Lewin (1947) developed a theory called Force Field Analysis to think about the way in which changes made at work succeed or fail. You can also use this concept to think about changes that you are trying to make in your life. Lewin suggests that whenever we are trying to change things there will be forces in favour of change and forces against. For change to happen, the forces in favour must be stronger than those against.


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4.4.6 Agreed

You are more likely to achieve your goal if you have people on your side. If you want to make a change at work, for example, it makes sense to consult your manager about the wording. If you want to make changes in your personal life, you may need to discuss this with family and friends.


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