Learning Skills

Significance


Web Resources for This Assignment

For General Education 110

The Long Foreground
The Agricultural Revolution

For General Education 111

Discovery and Reformation

What is Significance?

   The most useless strategy for learning is simply to acquire information. Now I know that most classes that you've taken—and are taking— demand little else from you except the acquisition of knowledge. But what good is knowledge that you don't use? Why are you learning that knowledge? What purpose does it have? Don't, however, go blaming your teachers or textbooks. They are probably giving you ample demonstrations of how the knowledge is to be put to use.
   We call the "use" of a particular piece of knowledge its "significance." This significance can involve several things: what does this knowledge help to explain? What new knowledge can this knowledge produce? What problems does it solve? What issues is it intimately related to? Of all these questions, the most common and important one is the first: what does this knowledge help you to explain?
   For this reason, I want you to slowly convert your learning style to focussing not on information, but on how that information is used and how it might be used. Pay close attention when you're reading not to the main points (well, pay attention to the main points), but to the way that the main points are used to explain other things.

Assignments

For General Education 110

   Significance in the Learning Modules You've Read. What follows are questions that specifically address the issue of the use of the information to explain other things. These uses are directly outlined in the text itself, so you will be largely reviewing the module and writing down how the module answers the question (although you can include your own thoughts as well). Answer only one of the following questions.
  • The Long Foreground
    1. Describe the most important milestone(s) in the development of human beings and explain why you think they are important.

  • The Agricultural Revolution
    2. The shift from hunting and gathering to a settled agricultural mode of life has been called the most revolutionary change in human history? Why? What fundamental changes in culture took place? What problems did the new mode of life bring?
  • For General Education 111

       Significance in the Learning Modules You've Read. In order to determine the significance of information that you've read, I want you to review either the learning module on the Reformation or your textbook readings. I then want you to choose the five most significant pieces of information. For each choice, I want you to indicate why that piece of information is one of the most important pieces of information, in other words, I want you to write two or three sentences explaining the significance of that information. You will be explaining the use value of the information, in other words, what this information can now help you to explain.

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