Learning How to Learn

Learning How to Learn
In Matthew 18:12 Jesus asked, “How think ye?” Jesus asked a question like this several times throughout his ministry to his disciples or to those he was teaching. I believe Jesus already knew their thoughts. What I feel he wanted from this question was for the people to know and understand their own thoughts.
If God, being the Master Teacher, wanted His students to know and understand their thoughts, shouldn’t we, as teachers, want our students to know and understand their own thoughts?
I believe that teaching our students how the process of thinking works can accelerate and deepen learning for some students. For others, it is one of the first steps of learning how to learn. Years ago, while trying to teach my 4-year-old basic concepts like colors, numbers, animals, and letters, I had to come to terms with the fact that she did not know how to learn. We began a life-long journey of how to learn.
I began studying the works of Reuven Feuerstein, the author of Beyond Smarter and the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program. He teaches how to recognize and improve cognitive functions—the basic elements of thinking—and describes three phases of the thought process.
• Input–gathering information through our senses
• Elaboration–processing or using the information
• Output–expressing the conclusion
Learning about how our brain works and about deficient cognitive functions in these three phases changed how I taught and how my students learned.

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