6. The teaching of learning strategies
Giving students some choice in their learning goals and teaching
them to be attentive to their progress yield learning gains.
In the 1980s, cognitive research on teaching sought ways to
encourage self-monitoring, self-teaching or 'meta-cognition' to foster
achievement and independence. Skills are important, but the learner's monitoring
and management of his or her own learning have primacy. This approach transfers
part of the direct teaching functions of planning, allocating time and review to
learners. Being aware of what goes on in one's mind during learning is a
critical first step to effective independent learning.
Some students have been found to lack this self-awareness and
must be taught the skills necessary to monitor and regulate their own learning.
Many studies have demonstrated that positive effects can accrue from developed
In the classroom
Students with a repertoire of learning strategies can measure
their own progress towards explicit goals. When students use these strategies to
strengthen their opportunities for learning, they simultaneously increase their
skills of self-awareness, personal control and positive self-evaluation.
Three possible phases of teaching about learning strategies
1. Modelling, in which the teacher exhibits the
2. Guided practice, in which students perform with help
from the teacher; and
3. Application, during which students act independently
of the teacher.
As an example, a successful programme of 'reciprocal teaching'
fosters reading comprehension by having students take turns in leading dialogues
on pertinent features of texts. By assuming the roles of planning and monitoring
ordinarily exercised by teachers, students learn self-management. Perhaps that
is why tutors learn from tutoring, and why it is said: 'To learn something well,
References: Haller, Child & Walberg, 1988; Palincsar
& Brown, 1984; Pearson, 1985; Walberg & Haertel,