How students learn


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Many different ideas about how students learn and can learn from their teachers. And how teachers can help their students learn better.

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How students learn

  1. 1. How Students Learn
  2. 2. Live Free / Speak Free
  3. 3. 7 Main Points Laws of Learning. Dimensions of Learning. Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about Learning. Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge. Extending and Refining Knowledge. Using Knowledge Meaningfully. Productive Habits of Mind.
  4. 4. Laws of Learning From my conversations with teachers around the country about how students learn and how teachers teach, I have discovered that certain laws govern the learning process. These laws apply to any student at any grade and in any subject area. Just as important, they are also supportive of what we know about brain growth and development. Although they have direct application for you as a classroom teacher, you'll note they are also applicable to adults who want to learn, too.
  5. 5. Law of association. Learning makes sense (comprehension) when the mind compares a new idea with something already known. Law of readiness. Students learn more easily when they have a desire to learn. Conversely, students learn with difficulty if they're not interested in the topic. Law of effect. Learning will always be much more effective when a feeling of satisfaction, pleasantness, or reward is part of the process. Law of relaxation. Students learn best and remember longest when they are relaxed. Reducing stress increases learning and retention.
  6. 6. Law of intensity. A vivid, exciting, enthusiastic, enjoyable learning experience is more likely to be remembered than a boring, unpleasant one. Law of involvement. Students learn best when they take an active part in what is to be learned. Law of exercise. The more often an act is repeated or information reviewed, the more quickly and more permanently it will become a habit or an easily remembered piece of information. Law of relevance. Effective learning is relevant to the student's life.
  7. 7. Law of recency. Practicing a skill or new concept just before using it will ensure a more effective performance. Law of challenge. Students learn best when they're challenged with novelty, a variety of materials, and a range of instructional strategies. Law of feedback. Effective learning takes place when students receive immediate and specific feedback on their performance.
  8. 8. Law of differences. Students learn in different ways. One size does not fit all! Law of expectations. Learners' reaction to instruction is shaped by their expectations related to the material (How successful will I be?). Law of emotions. The emotional state (and involvement) of students will shape how well and how much they learn.
  9. 9. Dimensions of Learning Teaching and learning occur in dynamic environments. In these environments, teachers, students, materials, textbooks, technol ogies, and social structures are all related and interactive. Learning and teaching occurs across five basic dimensions: Confidence and independence Knowledge and understanding Skills and strategies Use of prior and emerging experience Critical reflection
  10. 10. These five elements are known as the dimensions of learning. They cannot be treated individually; instead, they are dynamically interwoven. They describe the basic elements that must be part of every classroom learning (and teaching) experience. Students learn best when these five dimensions are addressed and incorporated into every teaching/learning experience.
  11. 11. Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about Learning Attitudes and perceptions affect students' ability to learn. Learning occurs best when the development of positive attitudes and perceptions is made part of every learning task. Students learn to think positively about themselves, their peers, and the material they are learning.
  12. 12. Here are some suggested classroom behaviors and practices: Establish a relationship with each student in the class. Practice positive classroom behavior. Provide opportunities for students to work together in cooperative groups. Establish and communicate classroom rules.
  13. 13. Use a variety of ways to engage students. Provide appropriate feedback. Teach students to use positive self-talk. Provide clear performance levels for tasks.
  14. 14. Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge We know that students build new knowledge by relating it to prior learning and experience. Additionally, we know there are different types of knowledge students can learn. This knowledge is best learned by making connections between what is known and what is to be learned.
  15. 15. Here are some suggested classroom behaviors and practices: Help students understand what it means to construct meaning. Have students use graphic organizers to organize information. A graphic organizer is a chart, outline, or web of ideas or concepts organized into groups or categories. For example, a nutrition graphic organizer might have the word Food written in the center of a sheet of paper. Around that key term would be categories of food such as Fruit, Vegetables, Dairy Products, and Grains. Around each of those categories would be written selected examples. The category of Fruit might have plums, cherries, apricots, and apples written around it. A graphic organizer illustrates how ideas are related to each other.
  16. 16. Have students create pictorial representations of information. Help students construct models. Point out common errors and pitfalls. Help students set up a practice schedule.
  17. 17. Extending and Refining Knowledge For learning to be effective and meaningful, students should be provided with opportunities to use knowledge in practical situations. Processing knowledge for greater understanding can be done through activities designed to help them apply that knowledge.
  18. 18. Try some of these classroom behaviors and practices: Compare. How are these things alike? Classify. Into what groups could you organize these things? Induce. Based on this information, what is the likely conclusion? Deduct. What predictions can you make, or what conclusions can you draw? Analyze errors. How is this information misleading? Construct support. What is an argument that will support this claim? Abstract. What is the general pattern underlying this information? Analyze perspectives. What is the reasoning behind this perspective?
  19. 19. Using Knowledge Meaningfully Students learn best when they need knowledge to accomplish a goal they consider important. Six kinds of thinking processes can be used to encourage students to use knowledge meaningfully: Decision-making Problem-solving Invention Experimental inquiry Investigation Systems analysis Analyzing the parts of a system and the manner in which they interact is called systems analysis.
  20. 20. Productive Habits of Mind Teachers can help students develop the mental habits that will enable them to learn on their own. Instruction to foster habits of mind includes both short-term and long-term practices. Here are some suggested classroom behaviors and practices: Think critically. Be and see accurately. Be open-minded. Think creatively. Push the limits of one's knowledge. Find new ways of looking at a situation. Self-regulate. Be aware of one's own thinking. Evaluate the effectiveness of one's own actions.