Strategic Learning


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Strategic Learning

  1. 1. Strategic Learning & Strategic Teaching "The obvious is always least understood." ~ Prince Metternich Guiding Questions What does it mean to be a strategic learner? How do strategic abilities vary across domains and contexts? What can teachers do to help students become more strategic? Strategic Learning Strategies: May be: Domain specific Domain general  Help us: Solve problems or tasks Organize information Understand and remember what we hear Maintain focus and motivation Comparing the Quality of Strategic Thinking Poor Thinkers  Set out simply to get the job done. Get right to the task of problem solving. Have little sense of which strategies work best in given situations. Rarely modify or transform the strategies they use. Have a limited repertoire of strategies on which to draw. Let the strategic process run its course. Good Thinkers  Seek the most effective & efficient means to complete a task. Analyze the situation or task well before acting. Have conditional knowledge for implementing strategies See strategies as blueprints to be modified & personalized. Have a rich array of general & specific strategies for various tasks & situations. Become invested & monitor their performance.
  2. 2. Myths about Strategies Strategic thinking is skillful performance Good strategic thinking develops naturally An individual is equally strategic in all domains There is little that teachers can do to help their students become strategic Strategic Thinking Is More than Skillful Performance  Strategies and Skills Forms of procedural knowledge Involve a sequence of actions to attain a cognitive goal Academic success requires students to exhibit both strategic and skillful behavior.  Skills Routinized or habitualized procedures Generally operate at an unconscious level  Strategies Are conscious and purposeful actions learners implement when faced with obstacles to optimal performance Good Strategic Thinking Needs to be Nurtured  Characteristics of Effective Strategic Thinking Efficiency and Effectiveness Planfulness Conditional Strategy Knowledge Personalization and Modification of Strategies Extensive Strategic Repertoire Strategic Repertoire Capturing & Retaining Information  Underlining or Highlighting Notetaking Information Search Questioning Improving Memory  Rehearsal Sorting & Categorizing Mnemonics Keyword Mnemonics Method of Loci
  3. 3. Analogical Reasoning Comprehending & Recalling Text  Identifying Important Ideas Predicting Summarizing Clarifying Elaborating Elaborate for YOURSELF! Which general strategies would be most appropriate for YOUR subject area?  Why?  Which strategies do you use? Were you taught them? When? How? What are some of the Domain-Specific Strategies in your Subject area? Strategic Thinking Varies Across Domains and Contexts  Social Contextual Forces Peer Interactions Availability of Nonhuman Educational Resources  Domain Influences Typical Problems and Strategic Emphases Interaction with Learner Characteristics Surface-level strategies Deep-processing strategies Teachers Can Help Students Become More Strategic Demonstrate the power of strategic thinking. Make strategic thinking an explicit part of the classroom curriculum. Integrate instruction on strategies with academic content in practical & meaningful ways.
  4. 4. Concentrate on a few fundamental strategies at a time, & teach them well. Teachers Can Help Students Become More Strategic Prompt and scaffold students’ strategic efforts. Encourage the personalization and modification of strategic processing. Foster individual goals, self-regulation, & self-evaluation. Allow sufficient time & incentives for strategic thinking. Look to students as sources & models of strategic processing. Strategy Example: Improving Memory with Rehearsal  Definition Mental technique used to help remember information. At the simplest level rehearsal involves repeating information over and over until it is memorized.  Types (see next slide for details) Maintenance Elaborative Cumulative  Uses To memorize information Maintenance – primarily used for short-term memorization. Elaborative – used for long-term memorization Maintenance Rehearsal Continuous repetition of the material to be remembered. Typically uses rote repetition, either out loud or silently in head Effective for short-term memory and for maintaining relatively small amounts in memory for brief periods, (e.g., phone number from information) but is not likely to affect retention in the long term. Elaborative Rehearsal Involves the association of new material with information that already exists in long-term memory – this leads to the understanding of the material to be learned. Examples of Elaborative Rehearsal
  5. 5. Generate personal examples to illustrate concepts or principles Join a study group that will provide an opportunity for rehearsal with other learners. Involve yourself in discussions or arguments about the topics to be retained – this enriches the meaningfulness of the subject matter. Try explaining the concept to a friend – this tests your understanding AND engages you in elaborative rehearsal. Cumulative Rehearsal Involves repetition of information by adding a new items or idea to the list as each round of repetition is used. Example: round 1: a is for apple, round 2: a is for apple, b is for bear round 3: a is for apple, b is for bear, c is for cat; round 4 a is for …  This is often experience in “name games” Links to Rehearsal Strategy Sites Encyclopedia type entry explaining rehearsal as a memory strategy – gives a good overview of the topic in about 2 paragraphs.  Maintenance vs. elaborative rehearsal – offers a memory self-test and compares the two types of rehearsal.  Maintenance rehearsal – explains what maintenance rehearsal is and applies it to children.  Memory development – presents a course outline for information on memory development and discusses two types of rehearsal strategies.  4 step strategy – presents a study of rehearsal training for children with Down syndrome. 