Learning How to Learn

Learning How to Learn

Information from PIDP 3250 forum by Carol and Ann

Metacognition is one’s ability to “manage and monitor the input, storage, search and retrieval of the contents of his own memory”(Life Circles, n.d., p. 1). Metacognition is “thinking about thinking” and involves a person’s ability to self-regulate his or her own learning.

Fogarty (1994) suggests that Metacognition is a process that spans three distinct phases, and that, to be successful thinkers, students must do the following:

  1. Develop a plan before approaching a learning task, such as reading for comprehension or solving a math problem.
  2. Monitor their understanding; use “fix-up” strategies when meaning breaks down.
  3. Evaluate their thinking after completing the task.


Instruction Strategies to Promote Metacognition

Key steps in teaching metacognitive skills to adult learners:

1. Set the target: the idea is to aim to develop a SRL – self-regulated learner

2. Change students’ beliefs about learning: research has shown that students who believe that intelligence was “fixed” vs. “incremental” earned lower grades in Henderson & Dweck’s 1990 study (as cited in Lovett, 2008).

3.  Teach planning and goal setting – and teach them how to evaluate their plans often

4. Give practice at self-monitoring and adapting: this is where the wrapper idea comes in.

Wrappers. “Wrapping” activities, using a set of reflective questions, can help students develop skills to monitor their own learning and adapt as necessary.

  • Exam Wrappers include questions about preparation strategies, surprises, remaining questions, study goals for the next unit, and so on. This helps students reflect on their study strategies to identify the best ways to prepare for future exams.
  • Homework Wrappers include questions about students’ confidence in applying their knowledge and skills both before and after completing an assignment. This gives students immediate feedback concerning the accuracy of their perceptions.
  • Lecture Wrappers include questions at the beginning of class about what students anticipate getting out of a lesson and/or questions at the end of class about the key points of the lesson. Having students compare their key points to the instructor’s can help students develop skills in active listening and identifying important information.


Some other strategies learning how to learn.

How to apply learning how to learn in a group

Group/Social learning can ease the learner to sharing their ideas and concepts in a comfortable environment. It also open the learners to discussing their own experiences, whereas they might not have opened up to all the class. It encourages learners to work together to learn by making decisions, assigning learning in the group to tasks, learning from each other, applying dialogue etc These type skills are skills needed in the work place/real world, therefore working in a group/social learning environment might prepare the learner to adhere to essential skills.

Social Learning Theory

Disadvantages and Advantages to Group Work

Collaborative instructional strategy is one of the strategies that can be used in social/group learning. Some collaborative techniques are; discussion, dialogue, case studies, role play, group presentation, games, debates etc see link for more strategies.

Collaborative Learning Tips

Confirmation Bias

The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational


As an educator using methods to develop the learners thinking on their thought process will motivate the learner to develop their higher level thinking and learning. The idea is for the learner to learn by thinking about what he or she is doing, this can be in a group or by themselves. As an educator I would use different methods for the learner to utilize in order to memorize the content. The learner might have predisposed opinions on then content, which as an educator I would develop methods for the learners to view the content differently.



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