How to get Students to use the Learning Strategies that we’re so Excited About

Written by Makeda Cole

Part 1 of a 3-part article, stay tuned for part-2 and part-3.

In the UK, traditional pedagogical methods are commonly used across classrooms. Teaching learning strategies to pupils is great in theory however, many conventional teaching methods do not inspire students to develop independent learning strategies. It is important to understand how we teach in practice for targeting active classroom engagement and adoption of learning strategies by the learners. Investment into teaching independent learning strategies can facilitate critical information transfer and ease pupils’ personal blocks to learning. Effort remains key to unlocking pupil engagement; where students actively engage in choosing and applying their own learning strategies.

International leadership practitioner Tricia Taylor, highlights 3 recurrent pitfalls that schools make with student learning. We all want pupils to do their best and achieve success therefore, it remains imperative to ensure effective learning occurs at every point. Pupils learn to engage in their own learning when teachers demonstrate eagerness towards strategies, acting a model for behaviour during engaged learning. As we have learnt from past research (Bandura, 1977), children acquire behaviours through modelling and when we as educators take time to demonstrate techniques such as retrieval practice, learning is impacted through the exploration of independent learning strategies. The following article also touches on a brief introduction to retrieval practice as a strategy for enhancing pupil memory.

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Bandura, A., & Walters, R. H. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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