01/03/2006 05:59 PM
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A Call for More Study Skills Instruction
by Joan Sedita, M.Ed. The term "metacognition" is used in education to describe the learning process. It means transcending cognition, or more simply put, thinking about thinking. Study skills instruction develops in students a metacognitive approach to school - they learn how to learn. Students need to go beyond completing an assignment and think about how they complete it. They need to be aware of the process they follow and steps they take when prereading a textbook, taking notes in class, or answering an essay question on a test. To most people, teaching basic skills means the 3 R's: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. I believe, however, that study skills are an essential component of basic skills which for too long has been neglected. I have devoted a significant portion of my twenty years work in the field of learning disabilities to developing study skills curriculums and instructional material, and to training educators and parents how to teach study skills. Study skills instruction benefits all students, but it is crucial to students who have learning disabilities. WHAT ARE STUDY SKILLS AND WHY DO STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES NEED STUDY SKILLS INSTRUCTION? Everyone needs the right tools and training to do their job. A carpenter must bring hammers, saws, nails and drills, and a working knowledge of how to handle wood in order to frame a house. A plumber needs the proper tools and experience to fix a kitchen sink. Study skills instruction gives students the...