How can Strategy Instruction be used to Support Learning in the Classroom?

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Strategy Instruction helps students be efficient and self-directed good learners and advance their academic performance.Research shows that students’ academic performance is enhanced when teachers implement Strategy Instruction in the classroom. Strategy Instruction involves teaching students various skills that can facilitate learning. Students are taught to choose the strategy that is best suited for the material and content that they have to learn and to make this part of their routine.

Chunking, visualization, PQ4R techniques, taking notes are some examples of strategies that are taught as part of Strategy Instruction. Therefore, through the use of Strategy Instruction, students are equipped with the skills required to become good learners.

Benefits of Strategy Instruction

Learning the different strategies and identifying the best time and way to use them allows students to learn independently, improving their self-esteem and confidence. They are able to explore new directions in problem solving, to reflect and introspect on outcomes and mistakes, and to experiment with various strategies in order to choose the one that work best for a particular lesson. Thus, Strategy Instruction facilitates self-directed learning within the classroom.

Teaching Strategy Instruction

Strategy Instruction can be taught through these simple steps:

Good learning: What is good learning? Explain the concept of good learning to the class and mention the strategies that it requires. Encourage them to discuss their thoughts on this. Generating questions about good learning will help students identify the core strategies that they rely on while studying.

Learn the strategies: Teach your students the different cognitive, memory and visual strategies that can make learning fun and easier. It is essential that different strategies are taught so that students can choose one with ample knowledge. Along with the strategy, it is important that they learn to relate the strategy with the content. For example, when a student is taught technique visualization, he or she should also understand how visualization works and the type of content it works for.

Model the strategies: Demonstrate to the class how you would use a strategy and when. Explain the process of reasoning to help the students learn better. Consider a scenario where the teacher is teaching the strategy of chunking. The students can write down a list and the teacher can chunk the material and repeat the list to the class. However, this would be more effective if the teacher explained how the chunking took place, i.e. chunking information into objects, facts, dates, etc. This will help them try it out and get better results.

Practice and generalization: Encourage the students to practice the strategies. Initially, it may be helpful if the teacher questions them on the possible strategies that can be used. As students get familiarized with the different strategies, it will be easier for them to generalize it at all phases of learning.

Self-evaluation: As students practice the strategies, encourage them to evaluate their choice of strategy and reflect on whether it was the optimal choice. Encourage them to try out different strategies in a particular situation and compare the results. In this way, students are taught to self-evaluate their work and strengthen their knowledge on the strategies.

Knowing more about Strategy Instruction would, therefore, help students be efficient and self-directed good learners and advance their academic performance.

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Discuss Here: What are the different strategies that can be taught through Strategy Instruction?

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