SQ3R is a mnemonic device that can be used by learning disabled individuals for standardizing the way they successfully acquire new information; actually, to tell the truth, I know I never really used it as an undergraduate student; however, in hindsight, I have been able to realize how SQ3R can be used, to great effect, in school and beyond, in the “real” or applied world, as well as in academia.

Like an idiot, as an undergrad, I merely dutifully scrawled it down in my notes, retained the printed copy or copies of the strategy I was distributed, learned it, in a deeply processed way, and figured it would never be utilized…that it would lean against a wall in my mind, gathering gray dust.

What the letters stand for is: Study, Question, Read, Recite, Review. Anyone can use it to assure that he or she has an easier time when learning and acquiring new information.

Truly, a learning disability (such as a processing difficulty, like a dyslexic individual experiences or a short-term-memory deficit-affected individual faces) can affect a learner’s ability to learn new information.

The reality is that, without a tool like SQ3R, a person can be left out in the cold, due, merely, to his or her inability to process all the information that he or she, by professors, is expected and required to process.

For Learning Disabled individuals, a device, such as this one, is amazing, as it lets them try it out, use it and amend it, as is necessary, memorize it and be able to utilize it, over and over. The fact is that LD individuals can tweak their tools, to meet their needs.

When I was in grad school, six trillion years after I learned SQ3R, one semester, a class I took covered the concept (SQ3R) and went on to detail several trillion other variants of the mnemonic device and, before I had a chance to step on, squelch or chain and muzzle my own inner monologue, I heard my voice utter how it was, in my opinion, likely true that the eighty trillion variants on the SQ3R model would definitely lead students to experience apprehension before using any one of the mnemonics, due to the lack of inherent contrast between the way each of the tools looked, at face value.

Of course, I had the inside scoop: I had had to test out many different compensatory learning strategies, myself; I knew that part of the process involved finding the right strategy that suited me; then, I had to become enabled to recognize the strategy, after I placed into my bag of compensatory tricks. (I came to refer to SQ3R as my “Billy Berue” [psst: that’s a Caddyshack reference], by virtue of the fact that it was really easy for me to remember.)

The fact is that the degree to which my short-term-memory deficit negatively-affected my ability to deeply process new information made it so that I truly needed something that was fairly easy to etch, through repetition, repetition, repetition, into my mind.

Abracadabra, though, once it stuck, it stuck for good. Even when I am in my most tired state of mind, if I need to learn something, quickly, SQ3R works for me, every time.

The array of other, similarly-named strategies that I came across, as a grad student, when I was researching the existent canon of learning strategies led me to come to the conclusion that, either the people who were attempting to produce the ensuing strategies could not have been learning disabled, themselves, by virtue of the fact that a learning disability can, if not, necessarily does cause vast clouds of confusion to sublime from some weird LD soup, (This confusion cloud causes people (LD people) to become lost and desperate for guidance back to the path to success.) or that the researchers, simply had merely discontinued their study, based on lack of funding or interest.

It was and still is my contention that a mnemonic device that is intended to be used by cognitively impaired individuals ought to stand out, uniquely, by virtue of the fact that, if a tool can be shown to be too similar to another tool that is either similar in the way it is labeled to another fairly dissimilar learning strategy or concept, or that is fairly similar to another concept, the only thing that can happen that is not nearly catastrophic is the addition of stress to the mindset of the student, if he or she is able to succeed in school.

For me, the real silver bullet that able to vanquish or stun the living bejeezus out of my memory deficit’s ability to impede my ability to succeed “academically” was my use of voice recognition software.

But, in order to get into college, from high school,  or from community college, to a four-year school or to successfully conquer undergrad school, a learning disabled individual needs to find a way to systematize the acquisition of new information.

SQ3R is one way to accomplish this. (SQ3R is a method by which an LD individual can more readily and effectively “load” his or her mind’s PALETTE; voice recognition software works similarly, to do the same thing.)


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