LEARNING STRATEGIES AND INFORMATION PROCESSING DEVELOPMENT
GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY
LEARNING STRATEGIES AND INFORMATION PROCESSING DEVELOPMENT Pg. 2
Special education teachers work with many students that have difficulties with attention, memory and recognition. There are also developmental skills that can affect a student’s ability to process information. These skills can relate to visual-perceptual skills, motor skills and language skills. Teachers working with these students must implement strategies when presenting new information to their students, determining what helpful strategies should be utilized to help their students attend, recognize and remember this information. A main goal is that learning disabled students will be able to independently utilize these strategies in the future with minimal assistance from others. Learning strategies are “techniques, principles, or rules that facilitate the acquisition, manipulation, integration, storage, and retrieval of information across situations and settings” (Alley &Deshler, 1979, p.13). Teachers implement strategies while instructing students to help students attend. Teachers also teach students strategies that will help them recall information (e.g. mnemonic devices) Learning disabled students have difficulty staying on task, organizing information and materials, memorizing important information, and writings tasks. Learning disabled students often exhibit low self-esteem and the necessary confidence to attempt new learning strategies. These students also seem to create a self-fulfilling prophecy in predicting and believing they will fail at a task because they have in the past. As a result, the student doesn’t attempt task or attempts task without truly trying and fails. As students learning strategies improve, confidence levels will grow. LEARNING STRATEGIES AND INFORMATION PROCESSING DEVELOPMENT Pg. 3 Educators can utilize different learning strategies to improve a student’s performance and gain learning skills for life as well as confidence. One of the difficult tasks a special education teacher faces is determining which strategy is most effective and how to implement that strategy. A teacher should consider a student’s disability and be familiar with the learning challenges that are associated with that particular disability. There are strategies that help instructional information be received by a student and information processing strategies that help students recall information. Many learning disabled students struggle with attending and recalling important information. This affects their ability to focus, gather important information and store that information for future use. “Each time a student’s attention is not engaged and maintained, an opportunity to learn is lost. When many such opportunities are lost, wide gaps in knowledge and skills are to be expected. These gaps, in turn, make new knowledge less” (Smith). Attention difficulties often impact a student’s ability to process information in short term and long term memory systems. When a student is not following a teacher’s instruction, the ability to note important facts and later recall them is greatly impacted. A teacher needs to be on able to identify students that appear distracted or are unable to recall recently presented information. After identification, teachers should implement learning strategies that will teach students the tools to help them recognize important information and move that information into their
LEARNING STRATEGIES AND INFORMATION PROCESSING DEVELOPMENT Pg. 4 memory system for future use. The end goal is for the student to utilize these strategies with...