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Anthony Manzo

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Problem-solving Approach to Study Skills:Study Needs as a surrogate for Life Problems

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Problem-Solving Approach to Study Skills

            The selection and use of effective study strategies essentially is a problem-solving process.  It requires thoughtful analysis of one’s habits, an honest evaluation of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and then an exploration of other possible ways of approaching reading and study tasks.  The Problem-solving Approach to Study Skills is one way to help students to develop this personal problem-solving orientation while introducing them to a variety of study strategy options.  PASS by definition is a form of self-directed learning and living.  

Steps in PASS (modified for elementary use)

 1. Count.  The teacher presents students with a list of common study skills problems and asks them to check those that apply to them (see Table 10.1).

2. Characterize.  The teacher guides students in defining selected study and learning problems in specific terms.  With older students, this can be done with inventories of learning style, temperament, skills, abilities, and attitudes.

3. Consider.   Students consider how they typically have dealt with their particular needs and problems and the possible advantages of these intuitive ways of dealing with school requirements.

4. Collect.  Students discuss and judge the value of standard techniques for dealing with reading/study problems.  Where these seem to be inadequate, they are set aside for reconsideration in the next step.

5. Create.   Students seek inventive modifications and alternatives that match their personal strengths and needs.  This step can be handled initially in individual and small group settings, and then in larger group discussions from which all may benefit.

See: Manzo/Manzo/Thomas (2009) Content Area Literacy (5th edition) Wiley Publishers

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