are techniques that learners use to control and monitor their cognitive
processes. There are two kinds of cognitive strategies: learning and thinking.
tactics for organizing, elaborating, manipulating, and retrieving knowledge.
Learning strategies help facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Learning strategies can be categorized as either as cognitive or affective.
Cognitive domain strategies are used to support information processing.
They include organizing strategies, elaborating strategies, rehearsing
strategies, and comprehension monitoring strategies. Affective domain
strategies are often called support strategies. These strategies are the
skills that people use to stay involved in the learning task and be successful
in the learning activity. Examples of these strategies are time management
and stress reduction.
strategies include techniques that help learners solve problems and generate
One model used for
teaching thinking strategies is the Synetics approach. This approach has
six stages and helps learners generate new ideas or new ways to solve
problems. During these phases learners are asked to clarify the learning
task, generate analogies, and develop conflicting statements about objects.
To be successful at
cognitive stragegy learning learners have to be able to do the following:
analyze the requirements of the learning task, analyze one's ability to
complete the task, select an appropriate strategy, apply the selected
strategy, evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy, and revise if necessary.
There are different
approaches to teaching cognitive strategies. The following are some approaches
that can be used.
Discovery and Guided
instructor leads the student through questioning to discover a particular
learn the strategy by seeing the strategy demonstrated
guides the students through the use of the strategy.
in books and courses: This
refers to prepackaged instruction on strategies
not only teaches the procedure of the strategy but also provides information
on when and where the strategy should be applied.
involves interaction between the learner and a knowledgable adult. During
this instruction the adult demonstrates the strategy application and the
learner then demonstrates the strategy for the instructor.
strategy involves self-instruction as well as interactions with a teacher
who may model the strategy and provide feedback to the learners.
strategies can be helpful in learning, many learners do not employ cognitive
strategies spontaneously. Some factors that inhibit the use of these strategies
are: low skill in strategy use, low motivation, students lack belief in
their abilities, students lack the awareness of their own memory and processing
characteristics, students lack knowledge of task characteristics, students
aren't devoting enough time to learn the strategy, or they do not have
the content knowledge needed to use the strategy.
Here are some
ways that instruction events can be adapted when teaching cognitive strategies.
deploy attention, establish instructional purpose, and arouse motivation,
instructors should have students complete a task that requires the use
of a particular strategy and then discuss the specific strategy being
the preview of the lesson the steps can be overviewed and a model can
demonstrate the use of the strategy in an appropriate situation.
of information, focus of attention, employing learning strategies, practice
and feedback stages may have to be done more than once depending on the
complexity of the strategy. If the strategy is complex part should be
presented and practiced before another part is presented.
activate prior knowledge, instructors should compare the strategy to
strategies that the students all ready know that are similar to the
During the process of information and the focus of attention instructors
need to present when and where the strategy and be appropriately applied.
This can be done by providing examples of situations that are appropriate
for the strategy and then having the students identify the characteristics
of appropriate situations.
strategies can be employed by contrasting the strategies with other
the practice and feedback stage students can practice the strategy by
determing if provided situations are situations that are appropriate
for using the strategy. They should also be able to tell why they feel
the situations are appropriate and they should be able to relate this
strategy to other strategies.
summarize and review the lesson and support the transfer of knowledge
instructors should encourage learners to consider whether previously
learned strategies are viable alternatives to the strategy or whether
the strategy is unique.
assess cognitive strategies instructors need to assess the students
ability to apply the strategy. This can be done through think alouds
or by evaluating artifacts of strategy use.
To show an example
of how a cognitive strategy might be taught. I have provided a lesson
teaching a cognitive strategy.
students will identify the three parts of the KWL strategy and will practice
employing the strategy.
will identify the major features of a U.S. National Park, Monument, or
gain student attention, arouse interest, and establish instructional
purpose tell the students that they will creating brochures about a
U.S National Park, Monument, or Historic Site and that they will be
using a KWL chart to identify what information they need to find to
create their brochures.
the preview of the lesson give an overview of the three parts of the
activate prior knowledge describe other organizational strategies that
the students may have used like webbing, lists, or outlining.
the process of information show the students how employ the strategy
by using Yellow Stone Park as a model. Have students first tell you
what they all ready know about Yellow Stone Park. Then have the students
tell you what they want to know about Yellow Stone Park. Then provide
answers to the questions generated in the section about what they want
to know to show what was learned. Then explain that this strategy can
be employed during anytime of research to keep information organized.
the learning strategies compare and contrast this strategy to other
practice the procedure have them apply select a National Park, Monument,
or Historic Site and have them use the chart to find information about
that place. Make sure the students use another park, site, or monument
other than Yellow Stone.
summarize and review the lesson and support the transfer of information
have the students talk about this strategy in comparison to other organizational
strategies to determine if other strategies can be used in this situation.
assess the strategy assess the students chart and brochure to determined
if they have correctly applied the strategy. The brochure should also
be assessed to see if it had the required elements. A rubric could be
used to evaluate the brochure.