We can learn to learn

Everyone knows how to summarise while taking lecture notes or studying. But there are several other techniques for learning. Educational psychologist Martine Baars has done years of research on learning to learn.   

“We often overrate our abilities while learning,” says educational psychologist Martine Baars. “We’re quick to think, “Okay, got it.” Only to be disabused of this when our knowledge is tested and we’re awarded disappointing marks.” Most students will be familiar with this. Baars has been engaged with this subject for years. She is an assistant professor of educational psychology at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, and obtained her PhD in June 2014 on the subject of self-regulated learning in primary and secondary education, for which she received a grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Baars explores how people can make their learning sessions more effective by using different strategies for studying, practicing time management and regulating their learning behaviour. “Research shows that children and adults are both bad at regulating their learning behaviour and learning processes,” says Baars. According to her, this is a shame, because effective learning is becoming an increasingly important skill for both current students and alumni. “Learning to learn is important for the kind of jobs society is increasingly going to need, because it is almost no longer possible to remain in the same job for the entirety of our working lives. Lifelong learning is becoming a prerequisite for success.”

Read the whole article in ea. magazine

Assistant professor