Sunday, October 11, 2015

Students and teaching

Teaching learning strategies to students means guaranteeing learning: efficient learning. It also builds on their independence (it teaches them to learn).
On the other hand, studying is a necessary activity in most educational learning. The student's knowledge of learning strategies has a direct influence on whether the student knows, can and wants to study.
  • KNOW: studying is a task for the student, and it can be done through methods that make it more efficient. That's the goal of learning strategies: get the maximum performance with less effort and more personal satisfaction.
  • CAN: in order to study, students require a minimum amount of skills or intelligence. It's proven that these skills improve when they're correctly exploited. And that's what learning strategies do.
  • WANT: Is it possible to keep a student motivated for a long time when the effort (misused because of a lack of strategies) is not enough? The use of good strategies guarantees that the student knows the effort required by a task, and uses all the resources available to do it. He gets good results, and, because of said success, is more motivated.

For a long time, professors have worried mainly about the transmission of content in their classes. Some valued the use of study techniques, but they taught them independently from the content in their classes.
To these teachers, students could be capable, by themselves, to apply them to different content, without the need for an educational intervention to promote its development or application. The last researches say that:
It's not enough to teach students techniques if they don't go hand in hand with strategic use (metaknowledge in its application). Blind and mechanical repetition of certain techniques is not a learning strategy.
From this point of view, we not only need to teach the techniques (outlining, taking notes, writing summaries, etc.), we also have to teach the student so he's capable of performing the two basic metacognitive tasks by himself:
  • PLANNING: doing activities, deciding which activities are better in each case, and after applying them:
  • EVALUATING their success or failure and investigate the causes for each.

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