By Jemi Sudhakar
21st Century Holistic Educationist
In order to understand better and apply meaningful intervention, it is necessary to consider the cognitive and behavioral profile of our learners. Strategies strengthen learning. Simply put, a learning strategy is an individual’s approach to complete a task. Therefore, teachers who teach learning strategies teach students how to learn, rather than teaching them specific.
How do teachers teach learning strategies?
Educators normally adopt an instructional sequence in which students learn each strategy following these teacher-directed steps: (a) pretest, (b) describe, (c) model, (d) verbal practice, (e) controlled practice, (f) grade-appropriate practice, (g) post-test, (h) generalization
Use a variety of instructional strategies and learning activities. Offering variety provides the students with opportunities to learn in ways that are responsive to their own communication styles, cognitive styles, and aptitudes.
Incorporate objectives for effective and personal development. Provide increased opportunities for high and low achievers to boost their self-esteem, develop positive self-attributes, and enhance their strengths and talents. Such opportunities can enhance students’ motivation to learn and achieve.
Communicate expectations. Let the students know the “classroom rules” about talking, verbal participation in lessons, and moving about the room. Tell them how long a task will take to complete or how long it will take to learn a skill or strategy, and when appropriate, give them information on their ability to master a certain skill or complete a task.
Provide rationales. Explain the benefits of learning a concept, skill, or task. Ask students to tell you the rationale for learning and explain how the concept or skill applies to their lives at school, home, and work.
Use advance and post organizers. At the beginning of lessons, give the students an overview and tell them the purpose or goal of the activity. If applicable, tell them the order that the lesson will follow and relate it to previous lessons. At the end of the lesson, summarize its main points.
Provide frequent reviews of the content learned. For example, check with the students to see if they remember the difference between simple and compound sentences. Provide a brief review of the previous lesson before continuing on to a new and related lesson.
Facilitate independence in thinking and action. There are many ways to facilitate students’ independence. For example, when students begin their work without specific instruction from the teacher, they are displaying independence. they are facilitating independence, and asking students to perform for the class (e.g., by reciting or role-playing) also promotes independence.
Monitor students’ academic progress during lessons and independent work. Check with students during seat work to see if they need assistance before they have to ask for help. Ask if they have any questions about what they are doing and if they understand what they are doing. Also make the students aware of the various situations in which a skill or strategy can be used as well as adaptations that will broaden its applicability to additional situations.
Provide frequent feedback. Feedback at multiple levels is preferred. For example, acknowledging a correct response is a form of brief feedback, while prompting a student who has given an incorrect answer by providing clues or repeating or rephrasing the question is another level. The teacher may also give positive feedback by stating the appropriate aspects of a student’s performance. Finally, the teacher may give positive corrective feedback by making students aware of specific aspects of their performance that need work, reviewing concepts and asking questions, making suggestions for improvement, and having the students correct their work.
Require mastery. Require students to master one task before going on to the next. When tasks are assigned, tell the students the criteria that define mastery and the different ways mastery can be obtained. When mastery is achieved on one aspect or portion of the task, give students corrective feedback to let them know what aspects they have mastered and what aspects still need more work. When the task is complete, let the students know that mastery was reached.
These Strategies can:
•motivate learners and help them focus attention
•organize information for understanding and remembering
•monitor and assess learning.
To become successful strategic learners students need:
•step-by-step strategy instruction
•a variety of instructional approaches and learning materials
•appropriate support that includes modelling, guided practice and independent practice
•opportunities to transfer skills and ideas from one situation to another
•meaningful connections between skills and ideas, and real-life situations
•opportunities to be independent and show what they know
•encouragement to self-monitor and self-correct
•tools for reflecting on and assessing own learning.