Metacognition represents a strategy of acquiring knowledge, namely the ability to understand your method for learning and assimilating information. It concerns "the knowledge of your thoughts," in addition to how various factors influence psychological thought processing. Metacognitive learning strategy offers help for individuals who struggle to analyze, utilize, memorize and/or retain information. Consider several strategies to find the one that works best for you.
Learning How to Learn
Cultivating a comprehensive metacognitive learning strategy requires you to understand how your mind processes information. In other words, you must discover your way of learning. Ascertain your personal interests and general aptitude toward particular subjects.
Reviewing Past Experience
Begin by assessing your previous educational experiences. Ask yourself the following questions.
1) What factors motivated me to learn?
2) What subjects interested/disinterested me?
3) Did I apply any techniques that facilitated my understanding?
4) What techniques, if any, did I apply to learn the material?
5) If so, how did I implement these techniques?
Consider whether or not you liked reading, writing, solving problems, working independently and participating in group discussions. By reviewing your preferences, you may begin to discover an approach that proved successful in the past that you can apply to subsequent experiences.
Apply the questions about your past learning experiences to your present circumstances. You may find differences and similarities in interests. Give yourself another assessment, this time emphasizing the present as you consider your current interests. Ask yourself whether or not:
1) you enjoy the subject;
2) you wish to invest time learning the subject;
3) the circumstances or conditions are favorable for success; and
4) you possess the ability to create an ideal environment for success.
Also ask "What factors influence my motivation for learning the subject?" and "What factors exceed my range of control?" By asking yourself these questions, you reassess personal interests in the context of present circumstances and prepare your mind for learning new material. You begin to learn more about yourself, and how you encourage an environment conducive to positive intellectual growth.
Communicating Your Thoughts
Write ideas out on paper and spend some time memorizing those ideas, then verbally communicating them to others. By sharing ideas with others, you not only stimulate discussion that may further strengthen your knowledge of the subject, but you also reinforce your thoughts through reiteration. Reinforcing your ideas helps your brain permanently store information into long-term memory within the conscious and subconscious mind, such that recollection no longer requires as much thought to retrieve.
Ask yourself whether or not the techniques you practiced worked for you. Reassess your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself how you can improve results for subsequent study, possibly incorporating and implementing new methods to your overall metacognitive learning strategy. This personal evaluation enables you to consistently improve learning ability by determining what factors encourage learning and motivation.
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