Smart strategies that help students learn how to learn — from Mind/Shift by Annie Murphy Paul
What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you know.
To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: knowledge about the subject at hand (say, mathematics or history) and knowledge about how learning works. Parents and educators are pretty good at imparting the first kind of knowledge. We’re comfortable talking about concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts. But the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself—the “metacognitive” aspects of learning—is more hit-or-miss, and it shows.
Thanks Annie for putting this posting out there along with some examples of how students might reflect upon their learning.
As all of us are increasingly being called upon to be lifelong learners, it could easily be that the most important thing to learn is…how to learn. That is, how do each of us best/most efficiently learn? The 1/2 lives of content continue to shrink, so learning how we best learn represents a solid investment of our thought, time, and energies.