By Shirley J. Caruso, Ed.D.
Learning strategies are naturally cognitively based. They can be broken down into two categories: Cognitive domain strategies (organization, rehearsal, elaboration) and Affective domain strategies (self-motivational skills such as time management, stress reduction techniques).
Seven approaches to teaching cognitive strategies are discovery and guided discovery (instructor leads the learner to discover a particular strategy), observation (cooperative application of cognitive strategies with paired learners), guided participation (the learners and instructor together determine the characteristics of a learning task), strategy instruction in books and courses (predetermined instruction on strategies), direct explanation, largely teacher directed (teaches the procedure of the strategy), dyadic instruction (one-to-one interaction between the learner and a knowledgeable adult), and self-instructional training (self-directed learning and active interactions with a teacher who provides model and feedback). Learning strategies are generated by contrasting the new strategy with strategies the learner already knows. Assessment of performance should be ongoing and is based on the learners’ ability to apply the strategy to appropriate learning tasks.