The Study Guides and Strategies website (www.studygs.net/metacognitiona), has an extremely useful webpage on “Learning how to learn”. This useful resource suggests that “effective learning is through knowing
• your capacity to learn
• the process you have successfully used in the past
• your interest in, and knowledge of, the subject you wish to learn”
The site continues to outline the four steps required in an effective learning experience:
• Begin with the past
• Proceed to the present
• Consider the process, the subject matter
• Build in review
By connecting to past experience one can accelerate a new learning situation. The Center for School Success suggests, “When new information is learned, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain between brain cells (neurons). When repeated, this reaction spreads and builds connections between previous knowledge and information. The more frequently this process occurs, the more memory and comprehension are strengthened, as it becomes easier and quicker for the brain to access information." (www.centerforschoolsuccess.org).
By building in review, elaborate rehearsal is a preferred method of anchoring the new learning. David Sousa defines elaborate rehearsal as a “a more complex thinking process in that the learner reprocesses the information several times to make connections to previous learning and assign meaning. There is almost no long-term retention without rehearsal Sousa suggests. “Simply increasing your time on a learning task does not guarantee retention” if you do not take the time personally interact with the content being learned through rehearsal. Additionally, Sousa recommends the initial learning needs to be on target as “practice does not make perfect…it makes it permanent.”
For more on effective learning visit: www.studygs.net.