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How can you make learning strategies palatable to children?

Pupils are hardly willing to engage in experiments with regard to learning strategies. Typical statements were: “What’s the point?”, “I’m just not talented in this subject – learning strategies won’t help me”, “It doesn’t work for me”, “I’ve always learned it that way”.

Those who want to successfully teach learning strategies must be aware that this involves behavior change, because even if students know that a different strategy is better, this is often not enough to break old habits. Therefore, there are some obstacles that teachers face time and again when teaching learning strategies.

Effective learning strategies build on important basic knowledge about how the human brain and memory work, and children and young people are very interested in how the brain learns and are more likely to try a new learning strategy if you can make a clear case for why that strategy makes learning easier.

Many learning guides say that children should take a short break right after school and then study alone in their room at a desk. This may be true for many children, but for others these guidelines become torture. You therefore have to find out for each child under which conditions he or she can learn best.