: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you kno
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
the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself—the “metacognitive” aspects of learning—is more hit-or-miss
Research has found that students vary widely in what they know about how to learn
low-achieving students show “substantial deficits” in their awareness of the cognitive and metacognitive strategies that lead to effective learning
Teaching students good learning strategies would ensure that they know how to acquire new knowledge, which leads to improved learning outcomes
Students can assess their own awareness by asking themselves which of the following learning strategies they regularly use (the response to each item is ideally “yes”):
I draw pictures or diagrams to help me understand this subject.
I make up questions that I try to answer about this subject.
When I am learning something new in this subject, I think back to what I already know about it.
I discuss what I am doing in this subject with others.
I practice things over and over until I know them well in this subject,
I think about my thinking, to check if I understand the ideas in this subject.
When I don’t understand something in this subject I go back over it again.
I make a note of things that I don’t understand very well in this subject, so that I can follow them up.
When I have finished an activity in this subject I look back to see how well I did.
I organize my time to manage my learning in this subject.
I make plans for how to do the activities in this subject.
students who used fewer of these strategies reported more difficulty coping with their schoolwork