Cognitive Profile: Academic Achievement: Charles A. Letteri
The aim of this chapter is to provide the teacher, and other educational personnel, with an understanding of the basic cognitive principles of learning and examples of their application.
"Learning how to learn" is fast becoming a phrase commonly used by educators in discussing the aims and goals of education. Practitioners and researchers alike use it, intimating that if individuals could learn how to learn, academic performance would improve; that if cognitive skills could be developed to a high level in school, success in learning would be greater whether in or out of school. However, schools have not concentrated on teaching individuals basic, prerequisite cognitive skills and strategies that are needed to be successful in learning tasks. As Jordan (1973) stated, "How to learn is itself something that has to be learned, though it is rarely taught in the schools." Labouvie, Liwin, & Urberg (1975) referred to the necessity for the "how to learn curriculum" when he stated, "If we hope to eventually exploit the individual difference in the optimization of instruction, we must first establish a sound theoretical base vis-a-vis basic cognitive processes, abilities and external variables affecting them." Information processing provides the basis for a "learning how to learn" theory, with direct implications for teaching strategies and teacher education.