A range of learning strategies: essential components for autonomy
Last March, Pédagogie collégiale published the first part of an article entitled ‘’Developing student autonomy … Why me? And how?’’ This article is the 2nd part. It was written subsequent to a lecture given during a pedagogical day at Cégep Marie-Victorin in January 2004 whose theme was Developing student autonomy, a shared responsibility. CEGEP students may be young adults but their teachers still play a key role in helping them develop their autonomy. It is easy to integrate activities and behaviour into one’s regular educational practices that serve this purpose. However, the trick is making sure they contribute directly to learning the content, take into account the level of student development and are based on knowledge validated in teaching and learning circles. Current writing on learning strategies and metacognition are sources of fruitful inspiration when it comes to implementing educational interventions that increase student autonomy. As mentioned in part 1 of the article, five traits characterize the autonomous CEGEP student. He or she:
1. pursues specific personal goals that are prioritized according to well-chosen values;
2. relies on a range of relevant and effective learning strategies;
3. makes sound judgments and decisions to reach these goals;
4. recognizes his/her progress and setbacks;
5. is accountable for the consequences of his/her choices.’’ (St-Pierre, 2004a, p. 24)
Relative to the 2nd trait, using a wide range of learning strategies, and the 4th, recognizing personal progress and setbacks, we would like to further suggest that teachers can help students improve their cognitive and metacognitive skills through the acquisition of learning strategies and the development of self-evaluation techniques. This is one of the most widely used metacognitive strategies.
The Centre de documentation collégiale (CDC) offers an extensive collection of documents on college-level education and on education in general, produced by professionals in leading facilities and organizations.