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If I had to choose just two important learning skills, being a
metacognitivist I'd choose comprehension monitoring (being aware of
when yor understanding has broken down) and clarification (strategies
for restoring understanding).  These are two very basic learning skills
that my developmental students are universally poor at.  The result
is that their learning is passive and superficial, and they think
they know the material better than they really do.

The way I try to teach these skills is to make students generate as many
questions as they can on things they *didn't* understand, e.g. in a
reading assignment.  As a class, we brainstorm a list of questions
that they don't already know the answers to; that forces them to go
back over the assignment and consider what they didn't quite get
and how to formulate questions about it.  After the first few
slow responses, the class contributions tend to pick up momentum.
Then I ask them to use their ingenuity to figure out the answers to
these questions.  I might have them share their thinking with the
class, or work in small groups.  Looking things up or asking
someone for help are acceptable strategies, but I tell them it's
also important to develop the inner resources to figure things
out for themselves.  (I tell them this comes in handy if you're like
me and too lazy to get up and take out the dictionary.)
This method tends to work nicely in class
discussion; I don't know yet if it transfers outside the classroom
but think it might if it's used regularly and frequently.

Annette Gourgey