Updated: Jul 6, 2021
By Antigone Stark, Sumay McPhail, and Joseph McPhail
Synthesized learning is a process for accelerated learning and retention we use at WEquil.School. The process begins with a topic of interest. In this project we demonstrate the synthesized learning process (SLP) by creating a project on SLP itself. There are three steps to SLP including 1) writing to communicate, 2) socialize and build relationships, and 3) feedback, iterate, and improve. We detail each of these steps using our five paragraph framework below and complete the process by sharing with WEquil.School. If you are reading this and find it helpful, please connect with our newest student member and summer employee Antigone Stark who is helping us to create our new WEquil Charter School.
Connect with Antigone on Linkedin and Facebook through her links below so you follow updates on her blog.
WEquil Blog: https://www.wequil.school/antigone-s
Write to communicate
While practicing synthesized learning, your first step should be to write to communicate. All of the standard approaches to research apply, such as researching the topic thoroughly and noting references as applicable. The goal is to synthesize the knowledge learned on the topic into key points you wish to communicate to yourself and others. At WEquil.School we encourage new writers to use the five paragraph framework which focuses on three main points. We also encourage students to use simple, understandable language. Overly complex words might signal that one is an “intellectual” but ultimately only distracts from the main points of your writing. You want to “write to communicate” so you maximize understanding, crystalize the important concepts, and attract the most attention from readers that share your interest. This allows your network of deep relationships to grow as you learn together from soliciting feedback, iterating, and improving the value you add over time.
Socialize and build relationships
Once you have made a project about something you are interested in, it is important to share with others and collect feedback on your project and project idea. This is the case because not only can you improve on what you are doing, but you can refine your understanding of value. Do not try to make your project perfect before sharing with others, aim for a C-. Then, after gaining feedback you know next steps to improve on your project and whether or not it is adding value to others. By socializing your project you can build relationships with others who are interested in the same topics, opening doors to collaboration.
Feedback, iterate and improve
Once you have collected feedback go back through your project and make changes. When reading others' feedback identify the things that people thought added value to them and the things that did not. Not only should you take the feedback and improve on your current project, but apply them to new projects in the future. Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept all pieces of feedback if you don’t agree. Afterall, it is your project. One way to edit your article is to make your language as simple as possible to understand. This allows you to have a wider audience because more people can understand you.
Synthesized learning is a proven process to help accelerate knowledge growth and retention. By using this process our members also grow their network by connecting with others around shared deep interests, learn to take feedback and use it to iterate and improve over time. This process varies from the traditional writing approach sometimes taught in public schools in which students are encouraged to complete near perfect projects in hopes of achieving a higher grade. SLP encourages students to create “minimum viable projects” that adds value to others so they can iterate and improve their writing through feedback points from the real world. There are no grades because there is no limit to how valuable writing can be to readers and to yourself. That is how real world writing gets better and so that is what we teach at WEquil.School.
WEquil.School’s Five Paragraph Framework by Aila McPhail - https://www.wequil.school/post/the-five-paragraph-framework
Deep Relations by Sumay McPhail - https://www.wequil.com/post/deep-relationships-with-jordan-peterson
Welcome to WEquil.School - https://www.wequil.school/post/welcome-to-wequil-school
Implementing the Zone of Proximal Development -https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1146704.pdf