One of the main goals of the Cooledge program is to help students learn how to learn efficiently and develop important academic skills, indispensable for thriving at a good university – complex text reading comprehension and speed, writing coherent well-argumented texts, critical thinking, etc.
We do not know our minds
The human mind is the main tool for efficient learning. However, it comes without an instruction manual.
What school does not teach us
Schools rarely teach us how to learn efficiently. Usually they just assess how students have coped on their own. Most often, the only thing we learn about our minds is the brain anatomy and functions, but these lessons do not show us how textbook facts relate to effective learning and intellectual work. Besides, school textbooks lag behind new discoveries in this field.
Wrong learning strategies
A tiny population of the university students who are to become teachers study this topic, so most teachers are not prepared to teach their students how to learn. Reflective students and teachers start drawing on their experience to figure out some methods, but too often their favourite strategies are only short-term, so most students forget the bulk of what they have studied too soon.
University is not like high school
University applicants have to prepare for much more challenging intellectual work than the one they do at high school, especially those who choose more selective universities and more challenging majors.