Published On: Thursday, February 10, 2022|Categories: Education Info, Learning Environment, Learning Strategies|

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely aware of the concept of individualized instruction. Often, we think about this concept in terms of subject matter within a particular discipline. For example, a student in third grade may be working on fifth-grade level science skills but second-grade level math skills. Individualized instruction and a personalized learning plan allow that student to thrive with focus.

What often gets overlooked in discussions of individual learning, though, is the benefit of individualized instruction on metacognitive skills. Here’s how it can set the student up for long-term success.

What Are Metacognitive Skills?

To put it simply, metacognitive skills develop through thinking about our own thinking. When students have the tools they need to examine their own thought processes, they gain deep insights. Then, this helps them build a set of strategies and approaches for lifelong learning.

The following metacognitive skills are important across every discipline and at every stage of life:

  • Planning – Breaking a task down into its separate steps, prioritizing them, and understanding the connections between them remains a complex and incredibly useful metacognitive skill.
  • Problem-solving – Often, students who are used to encountering educational tasks without any obstacles (which is often the case for advanced learners) can struggle when they finally do reach an educational situation that stretches their existing skills. In these cases, they need to call upon problem-solving skills.
  • Self-evaluation – Your student’s educational setting, learning tasks, and support systems will all change over the course of their life, but one thing remains the same: they’re always at the center of their own learning. The ability to self-evaluate and determine what’s working, where they are struggling, how they are performing is invaluable.

How Does Individualized Instruction Improve Metacognitive Skills?

Individualized instruction meets each student where they are and helps them pay careful attention to a specific learning task. In doing so, individualized instruction opens up the opportunity to gain metacognitive skills.

When students receive individualized instruction, they must pay attention to their own specific skillset. They’re learning to recognize their strengths and areas of struggle while identifying what strategies work for moving forward.

All of that work roots in the metacognitive skills mentioned above. This, indeed, leaves the sustained practice in developing them leaves students with a versatile set of lifelong tools.

How Do Metacognitive Skills Help With Specific Learning Tasks?

Once a student develops stronger metacognitive skills, they see improvement in specific learning tasks.

Here are some of the improvements in study skills a student can expect to see:

  • Better note-taking Once a student has identified their own thinking process, they’ll be able to take notes that capture the information in a way that aligns with that process.
  • Better time management Understanding how to plan, address potential weaknesses, and remain focused on a task will empower students to be better at time management.
  • More self-advocacy – Once students understand their own strengths and areas of need, they’ll be better set up for advocating and confidently explaining what would make the task more effective.

Learn More About Individualized Instruction

To learn more about how individualized instruction can help make your student’s experience at The Tenney School one that sets them up for long-term success, contact us today!

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