Cognitive Strategies Toolkit By: Carol Booth Olson and Robert Land This article describes eight cognitive strategies — including monitoring, tapping prior knowledge, and making predictions — to help readers develop their comprehension skills. Students with learning disabilities often do not develop the types of strategies necessary to successfully attack tasks. The word arithmetic can be spelled by taking the first letter from each word of the following sentence: a rat in the house may eat the ice cream. With current educational initiatives such as state standards and competency tests, accountability is in the forefront of education. Teachers need to make sure that students are aware of opportunities to use the strategies in different situations, and encourage them to do so. In order for this goal to be achieved, students need to be actively involved and allowed ownership in the process. The strategies that are explicitly taught would otherwise never be discovered by the student.
Without this knowledge, students who are taught one or more of the learning tactics mentioned earlier do not keep up their use for very long, nor do they apply the tactics to relevant tasks. Child Development, 53, 1258— 1267. It teaches students to use text headings to aid their comprehension and help them find and remember important information. Students must have mastered prerequisite skills to effectively use a strategy. The final part of this stage is introducing students to the steps of the strategy. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Often, instructors will already possess knowledge of student pre-skills.
Focus on Exceptional Children, 15, 1— 16. Everybody uses strategies when tasks become difficult. Independent performance does not mean that a teacher's job is done. A cognitive process theory of writing. Palincsar and Brown trained a small group of seventh graders whose reading comprehension scores were at least two years below grade level to use the techniques of summarizing, self-questioning, clarifying, and predicting to improve their reading comprehension. People use such strategies all the time, like writing a note to remember an important fact.
Strategies run the gamut from simple to highly complex. Encourage students to think about the various conditions that affect how they learn and remember. Learning Disabilities Focus, 2, 20— 35. As the chapter is outlined, the training should include reasons for metacognition in reading, strategies to support it, guidelines for instruction, and ways to measure. Research suggests large gains from mnemonic instruction on criterion-referenced tests, but evidence of gains on norm-referenced tests is less clear. Learning strategies are generated by contrasting the new strategy with strategies the learner already knows.
Learning Disability Quarterly, 8, 27— 36. The Self-Regulated Strategy Development model enables students to understand the process of the strategy. The self-questioning approaches discussed in this Alert improved comprehension in research studies. It also demonstrates that student effort is essential, and shows that strategy use results in better performance. By early adolescence rehearsal reflects the learner's growing awareness of the organizational properties of information.
If a student does not want to use a strategy it is fair to assume that they will not. Ideally, an instructional strategy should be as generative as possible while still offering motivational support for learners. Selected Cognitive Strategies Because they are diverse and highly relevant to tasks, the use of cognitive strategies by teachers and students can significantly impact important learning outcomes for students. The effectiveness of the approach is validated by a base of scholarly research that is considerably more extensive than is the case for several other current educational practices. Then explain how learning the strategy can improve their performance.
In this Alert, the authors review the literature on self-monitoring as it has been used for attention and performance in the classroom. The true strategist, in other words, is very mentally active. Stages can and should be revisited as part of the instructional process. Composition instruction with learning disabled students: Self-instructional strategy training. Do not assume that students will continue to use a particular strategy or successfully adapt it to new situations. Simple school examples include taking notes during a lecture, asking for clarification of complex material in a text, highlighting important information in a text as one reads, and creating an outline before beginning to write an essay. Not only could a model prove to be ineffective, it could also prove to be detrimental to students.
According to research reviewed by Kail 1990 , most five- and six-year-olds do not rehearse at all. Conceptual, methodological, and clinical issues in cognitive-behavioral assessment. Often the strategy will include actions or routines that are repeated each time the strategy is implemented. They are also fun to make up and use. An instructional model for intervention research in learning disabilities. Despite the limitations of research on notetaking, mentioned earlier, three suggestions should lead to more effective notetaking.