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Metacognition: Learning How To Learn

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posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:18 PM
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Sometimes I try to do things
And it just doesn't work out the way I want it to
And I get real frustrated
And like, I try hard to do it
And I take my time, but it just doesn't work out the way I want it to
It's like, I concentrate on it real hard
But it just doesn't work out
And everything I do and everything I try
It never turns out
It's like, I need time to figure these things out
But there's always someone there going:
"Hey Mike, you know, we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately, you know
And you should maybe get away
And like, maybe you should talk about it, you'll feel a lot better."
And I go: "No, it's okay, you know
I'll figure it out
Just leave me alone, I'll figure it out, you know
I'll just work it out myself."


Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized (Repo Man)

In the age old battle of IQ envy, there are people that excel at learning and those that, even if they concentrate on it real hard, it just never works out. And it builds up inside.


The classic complaint seemed to be, “I studied really hard, and I’m just as smart as [another student]. I don’t understand why I didn’t do well.”



In response, [Patricia] Chen would ask these students, “Describe to me how you studied for the exam.” From the responses, Chen gleaned the insight that many students – intelligent and willing to work hard – fall short of performing to their potential because they don’t employ a strategic approach to their learning.

The research team, [including psychologist, Desmond Ong], homed in on one important aspect of strategic learning – engaging in self-reflection to identify and use resources wisely


The researchers found that the brief intervention exercise made students more self-reflective about how they approached their learning. In turn, this metacognition enabled students to use their resources more effectively.


The students had their class notes, text books, reference materials, tutors, personal time with the professor, peers, study groups, etc., all available to them. So why the problems? Even if they spend more time studying all the material they were not performing. Maybe they need better computers? No, they are not aware that they needed goals. This included the “intervention exercise” where the students would list the above resources and ask why and when to use them. And they were asked to imagine the type of question on their exam. They then had to draw a roadmap on how to employ a few of the resources to study for the exam.

The psychologist did a social experiment too. One group, was just given notice of an exam; one group asked to do the “intervention exercise” once; half of that group were prompted twice to do the intervention exercise (tricky bastids!). The results are astounding!


In two studies, students who strategized their resource use before studying outperformed comparable classmates in the control group by an average of one-third of a letter grade in the class.



It’s not merely about using a greater number of resources for studying. The important point here is using resources more effectively.

-Desmond Ong, psychologist



“Actively self-reflecting on the approaches that you are taking fosters a strategic stance that is really important in life,” she [Chen] said. “Strategic thinking distinguishes between people of comparable ability and effort. This can make the difference between people who achieve and people who have the potential to achieve, but don’t.”

Chen offered one more piece of advice: “Strategize how you want to effectively direct your efforts before you pour your energy into it.”

Stanford.edu, May 8, 2017 - Strategizing resources leads to improved exam scores, according to Stanford scholars.

- and -

Quartz.com – A Stanford researcher’s study hack lifts B+ students into the As.

I did not even realize I did/do this! When going to school the second time, I had free time to think about paper topics. I would think about a subject matter, a literary theory, and how to make the two work to write a paper worth reading. I would trial balloon ideas and choose which I liked then map how my paper would show a literary theory’s weak points and how the theory could be made batter. All of that before starting to write!

I also did this when I had to code too. And learn new math. And at my current job when I first started I was given a series of highly technical manuals describing methods of marrying technology, business, and IT support. Thanks to being able to read lots of dense material, realizing the goal, I set about learning my job. I’ve been here for years, got several raises, and routinely give explanations to management about how their systems both work and don’t work. Thanks to metacognition!

Oh, this can be applied to any activity you do. Who would have thought that learning how to learn is a superpower we can all wield!

Did you work it out yourself?

… doesn’t matter. I’ll probably get hit by a car anyway

-end-
edit on 10-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar police




posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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The thing that worked best for me was writing it down. If I wrote it, I remembered 90% or better of it. The frustrating thing was that I always felt like I wasted all that hard work taking copious notes because upon review, I remembered so much of them. Making flashcards always felt like a tease for the same reason.

But it also always worked.

Then I just had to figure out what was most important so I didn't have to write as much.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Would you say you are well balanced between visual and auditory learning?

Absorption of these stimuli, combined with our mind's inner abilities to conceptualize and associate these various source inputs, can yield everything from humble innovation, realization, to cognition chaos.

One thing Ive learned. Sometimes, its good to be careful what I think...
edit on 10-5-2017 by CreationBro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Writing something down is a kind of intervention as you have to stop and think. It is that "self-reflection" that makes you aware of what you are trying to learn.

The other that is needed is feedback. As always, doing something wrong constantly is... wrong. Feedback helps correct the little things that are not working.

They say this can be applied to loosing weight, learning a new language, etc. So it is no just school stuff.

a reply to: CreationBro

Auditory much more than visual for me. Music is kind of my religion as you can tell by the lyrics I've included!

The process of learning is what I like. I studied AI (now its called "cognitive science" or some such). This seems kind of common sense but it seems not be a common method of thinking. That is fascinating.

Had to share with ATS!




posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:45 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

I never subjected myself too much to 'higher learning'. Math, computereeze, technology, all a waste of time. I wanted to grow things, turnover rocks, find things, hike in the woods.

Now I have fewer expectations about how I want things to go. I am more tolerant when things go the way they do, instead of forcing them to go my way.

The last couple weeks the curbsides spring cleaning campaign is going strong. People pile junk on their curb for pick up. All kinds of recycle, reuse, resell stuff for tax free cash is just lying around. its a treasure hunt, you never know what you're going to find around the next corner.

Then, full of stuff, I return to the house and begin 'breaking down. Each piece of computer, plumbing, air conditioner, wire, etc. has its own solution to reducing it for delivery...

Takes it as it comes, applies tools, finds a solution, it was all free, the money is a bonus. The feeling in the heart of environmental, as well as self employment, recycling and flea markets are always an adventure. The money is secondary to that.


I start and stop when I want, not punching another's clock for a pay check. No bosses, no taxes for bombs. It was heading to landfill, now its recycled, reduction in waste and resource extraction from the natural environment.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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I've found that mnemonics have helped me remember things greatly. That's how I learned languages and math quickly.


edit on 5/10/2017 by Deaf Alien because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:47 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

I'm not crazy,
You're the one that's crazy.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:53 PM
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Again, it appears that the key to developing advanced human-like intelligence will require some sense of self and a way in which the machine can monitor, evaluate and choose between various available options according to its own needs and desires, as determined by its own point of view. It doesn't matter whether it actually has a point of view, or only thinks it does. Just like us.

And some programmer is probably out there right now who not only knows his/her code but also their "soft" sciences of sociology and psychology so they'll be able to come up with a core program that can grow to incorporate all the physical and emotional parameters needed to interact like an intelligent being in this world.

I don't have the skills, but I can see it coming.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: intrptr


Chen proposes that the principle behind Strategic Resource Use can be applied beyond academics, including parenting, losing weight or learning a new skill at work.


You are saying you have goals! The study says that students did not. Then, with the help of a psychologist, they figured out a couple methods that are effective. Applied across all races, all sexes, and seemed to work better with below average students best (they did this for Jr. high and college students).

Everybody can use this at anything they put effort into! Seems like you've already figured it out!



 


a reply to: Deaf Alien

Mnemonics are another "intervention exercise" like Ketsuko's stopping to write something down. I would also argue that stopping to explain the subject to a fellow student stops and makes you think, "What is important?"

Seems that is why taking turns teaching class works. It is another form of asking, "Why are we doing this?"
edit on 10-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: eta: add quote



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: TobyFlenderson

All I wanted was a Pepsi, just a Pepsi
But she wouldn't give it to me!



a reply to: Blue Shift

Which is one reason I like this idea. We find out what motivates a computer to learn! Right now, it is just algorithms doing what we want it to do. What if a computer says, "I want to do this"? I don't see the current "AI" being much more than a clever piece of code. Oh, a d@mn clever piece of code, but still doing what we tell it to do.

Metacognition AI... well there you go!
edit on 10-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: wth? I didn't the computer was aware yet!



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:10 PM
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Textbooks
Library books
Encyclopedia Britannica
Dictionary
Thesaurus
Pen
Paper
Typewriter

The secret?

Read.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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originally posted by: 123143
Textbooks
Library books
Encyclopedia Britannica
Dictionary
Thesaurus
Pen
Paper
Typewriter

The secret?

Read.


Reading is where I find the knowledge, but simply looking it up and reading it won't internalize it like writing it will.

I work at proofing, and I've lost track of the number of times I've looked up some words. Because I haven't taken the time to actually write and bother to internalize them, I seem doomed to not memorize them. But I figure there is little need to when I have a dictionary right there at my elbow.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: 123143

Those are resources. What does "Read." accomplish? Nothing if there is not a reason for reading.


The researchers found that the brief intervention exercise made students more self-reflective about how they approached their learning. In turn, this metacognition enabled students to use their resources more effectively

(same)

This is "thinking about thinking" prior to learning and how that has benefits beyond memorizing facts. As the students became better they felt more empowered. You don't get that from reading an encyclopedia.

Speaking of Read, might want to have read the OP a bit better since the items in your list were covered.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
The thing that worked best for me was writing it down. If I wrote it, I remembered 90% or better of it. The frustrating thing was that I always felt like I wasted all that hard work taking copious notes because upon review, I remembered so much of them. Making flashcards always felt like a tease for the same reason.

But it also always worked.

Then I just had to figure out what was most important so I didn't have to write as much.


I was the exact same way. I was so freaking bored by anything anyone said I would write down everything the professor said. But I never had to look at my notes. Just writing it down was enough for me to remember it.


edit on 10-5-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:51 PM
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I found when I was a Teacher Assistant, the material I taught to students, I was forced to learn and understand at a completely different level. When you teach someone anything you learn it better than anyone!



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015


Chen proposes that the principle behind Strategic Resource Use can be applied beyond academics, including parenting, losing weight or learning a new skill at work.

(same)

Although the study was aimed at students, anybody, can benefit from doing this. It seems kind of strange to do but then again it is no different than a downhill ski racer going through turns with their eyes closed prior to the run.

I know I'm going to experiment on myself! Gee, what harm can I do? Learn a new language? A new guitar lick? How to do my laundry more efficiently? Speak French? (lol)



posted on May, 11 2017 @ 12:17 AM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Metacognition is meerly:

met·a·cog·ni·tion
ˌmedəˌkäɡˈniSH(ə)n/
nounPSYCHOLOGY

awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes.

Once you know that... then you can seek better ways for you to learn. One size fits nobody well.



posted on May, 11 2017 @ 12:54 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Meta-cognition. Awareness of cognition. They (schoolastic types) finally caught up with us acid heads!

I already know what they are saying. Winky-face, smiley-nod.

But as Dr. Leary said, the drugs aren't necessary. Anybody can do this! Just sharing the good news!


edit on 11-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: stooped autocorrect



posted on May, 11 2017 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

all i wanted was a pepsi!



posted on May, 11 2017 @ 12:58 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: 123143

Those are resources. What does "Read." accomplish? Nothing if there is not a reason for reading.


The researchers found that the brief intervention exercise made students more self-reflective about how they approached their learning. In turn, this metacognition enabled students to use their resources more effectively

(same)

This is "thinking about thinking" prior to learning and how that has benefits beyond memorizing facts. As the students became better they felt more empowered. You don't get that from reading an encyclopedia.

Speaking of Read, might want to have read the OP a bit better since the items in your list were covered.



My point is that you just need to hunker down and do it instead of intellectualizing it. Turn off the music, the TV, the phone, and pick up the books. Yes, take notes.

Poisoning pure study with all this BS about "having a plan" is just that, BS. There is no "technique". You just do it.

It all boils down to reading the material. Period.



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