Table of Contents
After identifying a great source of knowledge in a subject, work to create a rewarding, intellectually safe environment for the study of that subject.
1. KNOWLEDGE HYDRANT
A study group is a collection of individuals who meet regularly to improve their understanding of some non-trivial subject, like a body of great literature, by participating in dialogue.
If you analyze successful study groups you can discern their patterns. These patterns energize, inspire and sustain a group over time.
A pattern language is a very practical network of important, related ideas that provide a comprehensivetreatment of a subject. But while they are intended to be comprehensive, pattern languages are not written for experts: they convey expert solutions for laypersons, empowering those individuals to generate high-quality works in their own unique way.
With so many different learning styles, so many competing books, articles, schools, classes and tutorials in the world, it can be incredibly hard to choose the right path, the source of knowledge with the potential to provide the most important knowledge in the least amount of time for the individual student.
Great literature also tends to participate in a larger dialogue. Authors of great literature commonly reference, extend, or refute ideas communicated by their ancestors or peers. This can make it doubly hard to understand their writings, since one may need to understand referenced works in order to understand the author’s own work.
Finally, as great literature ages, people don’t believe it will contain the “modern” knowledge they need. So even if some great book written 30 years ago contains the exact knowledge they seek, people won’t find it, for they are unaware of the abundance of knowledge contained in older works of literature.
Discover the great literature in your profession or area of interest—the finest books, articles, and speeches ever written—and then begin an earnest study of these works.
“Select important articles to study within a field”
So how do you find the great literature worthy of study? Ask people. Ask knowledgeable people which authors they like, what are their favorite books, what profoundly influenced them?
Join a study group (02. POOL OF INSIGHT) Study works in a field in order (16. SEQUENTIAL STUDY) Compose them (17. AGENDA)
2. POOL OF INSIGHT
3. SAFE PLACE
4. ENDURING ENERGY
5. KINDRED COLLABORATORS
Establish a home for the study group that is centrally located, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and conducive to dialogue.
- COMMON GROUND
- PUBLIC LIVING ROOM
- INTIMATE CIRCLE
- VIRTUAL SPACE
Lead and energize the group, come prepared, and help guide dialogues so that they are insightful and productive.
- ENTHUSIASTIC LEADER
- MOTIVATED MODERATOR
- ACTIVE PARTICIPANT
- PREPARED PARTICIPANT
- DISTINGUISHED PARTICIPANT
Follow customs that will re-enforce the spirit of the group, piquing participant’s interest in dialogues, accommodating different learning levels, making the study of literature easier, recording group experiences, and drawing people closer together.
- OPENING QUESTION
- SEQUENTIAL STUDY
- STUDY CYCLE
- DISTRIBUTED DIARY