In what ways can a structured study skills program develop independence and improve wellbeing in young people?
The Mental Health Commission for New South Wales reports that the top issue of concern for young people managing poor mental health is school or study problems. In recent years schools have devoted significant resources to supporting the mental health of young people, often employing additional pastoral staff or counsellors to support students experiencing symptoms of anxiety and / or depression triggered by academic stress. This study investigates whether pre-emptive intervention to support young people in developing academic confidence - through a structured study skills program focused on evidence-based independent learning strategies - improves wellbeing for students Years 9 & 10. If students regularly practice skills including self-evaluating, organising and transforming, spaced rehearsing and memorising, we anticipate they will use their time within and beyond the classroom more effectively.
By undertaking this project together and offering communal spaces where students can study together out of hours, we hope to reduce feelings of isolation experienced by students managing anxiety and strengthen our learning community. By carving out space for students to understand how they learn, we affirm our confidence in their capacity and need to acquire wisdom, resilience, and independence through their experience of both challenge and success.