Becoming a Better Learner

In my recent reading I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review that got me excited. It says we can all learn how to become better learners, and that our ability to learn is not about intelligence, but rather having the right strategies.


The article outlined three of those strategies.


The first is setting SMART goals. You can learn about these in detail in a blog I wrote here. The key is having goals that are reasonably achievable and specific.


I've also written about the second strategy, which is to use metacognition, or to think about thinking. When students critically reflect on what they are learning or reading, and ask themselves if they really understand it, they do vital work that can help them make decisions about re-reading or asking for help. 


Finally, students who learn well reflect on what they learn. I've talked about this as a strategy to help students see how they might make different decisions. The article advocates stepping back and reflecting on the day's lectures or reading assignments. Sometimes perspective comes when we remove ourselves a bit.