MH900399895We know that, for learning and growth, beliefs about our ability to learn and putting in effort both matter a lot. There is a third factor that also matters a lot which is using effective learning strategies. On Annie Murphy Paul’s website I learned about some interesting research on this topic. While students differ a lot in the degree to which they know about and apply effective learning strategies (low achieving students know and apply them much less than high achieving students) little attention is paid in schools to teaching students how to learn effectively. Here is a list of such effective learning strategies:


  1. Draw pictures or diagrams to help you understand this subject.
  2. Make up questions that you try to answer about this subject.
  3. When you are learning something new in this subject, think back to what you already know about it.
  4. Discuss what you are doing in this subject with others.
  5. Practice things over and over until you know them well in this subject.
  6. Think about your thinking, to check if you understand the ideas in this subject.
  7. When you don’t understand something in this subject go back over it again.
  8. Make a note of things that you don’t understand very well in this subject, so that you can follow them up.
  9. When you have finished an activity in this subject look back to see how well you did.
  10. Organize your time to manage your learning in this subject.
  11. Make plans for how to do the activities in this subject.
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