Everone has the ability to learn; thatÔÇÖs what our brains do. But not everyone has the same capacity to learn, and oneÔÇÖs capacity for learning can be built.
Everyone has cognitive strengths and weaknesses. When you understand what they are and how they are involved in learning, you can choose strategies to help your student leverage their strengths and support weaker processing areas.
ItÔÇÖs not enough to know that a student struggles in math or is a slow reader. Students may struggle in math for many different reasons, including limited working memory, underdeveloped visual-spatial skills, or problems with sequencing. In reading, visualization, verbal reasoning, and working memory often play key roles. When you know a studentÔÇÖs learning profile, then determining the best strategies is not a matter of guesswork.
Cognitive skills are the foundation for learning and include:
Research is showing that cognitive skills can be developed to a far greater degree than people may think with the right kind of training ÔÇô training that is comprehensive in the range of skills developed ÔÇô and that works like cross-training, integrating skills as they are strengthened.
Individuals who believe that intelligence is not fixed and that abilities and talents can be developed have a growth mindset. A growth mindset enables students to learn from their mistakes, to be resilient when they experience setbacks, and to take responsibility for their own learning.
The first two Keys can play a significant role in supporting the development of a growth mindset. When students own strategies to help them learn and have seen their cognitive skills expand with training, the concepts become real and tangible.
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