Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fluid Learning for Research Topics & Career Planning

I've said before that I consider myself a "fluid learner"--a phrase I coined to describe someone who thinks outside of normal parameters, and one that I feel more accurately describes the new generation of children who are not bound by traditional methods of teaching. With that in mind, I'll use the example of the 4 Elements (above) as a lesson in discerning how to narrow down a topic for research, as well as how to focus more specifically on a subject for academic or professional means.  

In this example, someone has just asked me to help them find an idea for an assignment--or they have just graduated from college and are trying to identify their career plans and goals.  The mention of "environmental studies" is the key.

My first response to this individual: "Let's use the 4 Elements as guiding points to help you identify where your interests are, and which one best suits your answer." After that is established, I then take each element and its nature, then apply a range of ideas that may be suitable.  For example:

Air: (Air) pollution - management of hazardous waste gases; quality of air control in residential or commercial locations

Water: Potable water supply and management; ocean pollution and recovery; oil & natural gas spillage-recovery

Fire: Recycling garbage for fuels

Earth: Alternative fuel sources; landfill management and soil reclamation; ecosystem preservation and recovery; animal and wilderness preservation

Do you have a subject or topic you'd like to see mixed-and-matched with the 4 Elements? Try Fluid Learning techniques and methods--or if you're in need of something different, write and ask me!

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