Maria Pennings asked a roomful of high school juniors who wants to do better on tests, and nearly all of the hands in the room went up.
"You might just have to learn the best way for you to study," she said Wednesday at William Penn Senior High School.
Pennings, a career development specialist with YTI Career Institute, and Diana Cybularz, development skills coordinator for YTI's learning resource center, visited the school for the first of four higher education success seminars that will be held for the school's juniors.
YTI has partnered with the school to offer the seminars throughout the school year, as well for homework help sessions once each week, said Shelley Warfield, director of high school relations at YTI. Scholarships also will be offered. The partnership grew out of a YTI campus tour York City School District Supt. Deborah Wortham took in the spring, she said.
During juniors' English classes on Wednesday, the YTI representatives had students answer questions to determine what type of learner they are, such as whether they learn better by hearing something explained, seeing it or taking a hands-on approach. Then they talked about what kinds of study habits might suit their styles.
"I'm a hands-on person," said junior Allen Williams. "Kinesthetic."
Student Shawanna Bailey said she learned that she might need to study more on her own. She's tried group studying situations, and it hasn't worked out so well.
"I thought it was very informative," she said.
In the other sessions to be scheduled, they'll tackle topics such as how to study for a test, and they'll look at how the brain learns, Cybularz said.
Sometimes, she said, it's just good for the students to hear about their peers' study habits.
Pennings said she hopes the sessions help the students understand the value of education and how to be better students. As they look into higher education, she said, it could help them determine whether they'll be better off in classes in a big lecture hall or a smaller hands-on environment.
"I hope that it inspires some people … maybe they're not a straight-A student but they think hey, maybe if I try this method it will not only help me with my grades but also my future education," she said.
Vlonda Kearse, American literature teacher, said she learned that the majority of her classes fell into the visual or kinesthetic learning modes. She's an auditory learner, she said, so she knows she has to change her teaching to meet her students' needs.
"This was actually very useful," she said.