Be the boss of your own learning - part 2

Be the boss of your own learning - part 2

Précis of Part One

If you can define learning to learn, you are the boss of your own learning! Choosing the best strategies to improve our learning is learning to study – not learning to learn. Learning to learn is more than the ability to choose the right strategies for studying or learning. Could learning to learn be the ability to monitor our own learning or the ability to understand how we monitor our own learning?

Examining our ability to understand how we learn is important

It is obvious from the discussion so far that it is possible to support students and children by offering them ways to understand how they learn and to improve their studying methods and learning strategies. But, the real question is whether by choosing the right strategies to study and to learn a topic or a task it can be guaranteed that they will develop as successful learners in life? That they will become successful bosses of their own learning?

If children are learning to learn, they can move forward at all times, making the world a happier place for themselves.  A life rich with unique experiences cannot be lived without this ability.

For children, teaching them how to examine their own ability to understand how they learn new things is important because it may lead them to develop the complex ability of learning to learn. Here, what is significant in the process is their awareness of the ability to understand how we learn. Are they aware of it?

Learning to learn is a growth mindset

Learning to learn is a growth mind set encouraging greater awareness and understanding of ourselves as learners and the requirements of being successful.  The key to practicing this ability of learning to learn rests on three key principles:

What is Learning to Learn?

3 Necessary Ingredients

How to Develop the Ability of Learning to Learn?

3 Key Principles of Behaviour

Understand how we learn

Dig deeply into our thinking processes

Be motivated to take action so that we can learn

Reflect on our weaknesses and strengths and adapt the strategies that have been most useful to us

Be in control of our own learning to achieve our goals

Act on our evaluation


You are not considered to have learned to learn if your results improve by luck!

If your child gets better results merely by luck this time, they did not learn which strategies will work for them the next time.  To ensure that as learners they can evaluate and compare learning strategies they must have knowledge and understanding of how they learn.

What can we do to develop children’s awareness of their ability to learn and their ability to understand how they learn?  The answer sounds simple:  we can ask them how they learned.  Ask them:  How did you learn?

But, can we do more to help our students?  We can motivate them so that they are interested in finding answers to such questions.  Ask them:  Which strategy worked well for you?

We can encourage them to think deeply about these questions.  These questions and thinking processes are the key for achieving the first requirement shown in the table above.

Reflecting on past strategies and choosing what worked well for us

The second requirement involves grasping what our strengths and weaknesses are.

But, discussing strengths and weaknesses in an abstract way with children is not likely to improve their results.  Having a general conversation about their strengths and weaknesses may motivate older children who enjoy being competitive, however others may feel discouraged.

Instead, asking children whether the learning strategies they adapted improved the results they are getting will help them to achieve the second requirement shown in the table above.

More to come about the three key principles of learning to learn in PART THREE.


Images: Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels


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