Learning to Learn: The Skill and Will of College Success

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9780024225511: Learning to Learn: The Skill and Will of College Success

For courses in Learning Strategies, First-Year Seminar, and Study Skills. Based on current theory and research in cognitive and motivational psychology, this text shows students how skill AND will are both necessary for success in learning in college and throughout life. Strategy-based rather than learning-style based, it takes students from where they are currently on the skill-will continuum (high skill, low will; low skill, high will; low skill, low will; or high skill, high will), helps them develop a variety of learning strategies, tells them when to use them, and explains how to generate the energy, desire, and self-confidence to make those strategies work for them. Multiple assessments throughout help students evaluate their progress, and hands-on activities allow them to try out new strategies.

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From the Back Cover:

It takes two things to be successful in college—skill and will. College success requires developing the proper learning strategies and the knowledge of when to use those strategies (skill) and the energy, desire, and self-confidence to make those strategies work (will). Along with many practical suggestions to improve learning and motivation, this book offers a theoretical understanding of the cognitive and motivational factors needed for college success.

Key Features:
  • Multiple assessments of learning and motivation, providing students with valuable feedback
  • Practical learning strategies
  • Tips for improving motivation and thinking
  • Advice grounded in scientific research
  • Hands-on learning activities to improve thinking and motivation

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

It takes two things to be successful just in academic pursuits but also in athletics, music, employment, and relationships. Successful people in all walks of life are both skillful and willful. The skill is the competencies and strategies needed to do things well. The will is the desire and motivation to do things well. In college, the skill component is the cognitive aspect of learning. It involves setting goals and plans and trying to enact them. It also involves working to become proficient at reading, writing, studying, note-taking, and test-taking. The will component is the motivational aspect of learning. It involves motivating yourself with different goals, trying hard, persisting, and finding what things motivate you to excellence.

This book is about skill and will and improving both. Some students have high skill and low will (people might say, "He is so smart, but he's lazy."). Some students have low skill and high will ( "She works really hard, but she's not very smart."). And some students are low on both or high on both. Whatever the case, this book will help you to improve both your skill and your will.

The philosophy of this book is simple: to get smarter and learn more you need to improve your skill and your will. Being skillful (smart, intelligent) alone won't be sufficient. Being willful (motivated, driven) alone won't be sufficient. Having just one component will always leave you performing below your potential. So this book encourages you to reflect on both your skill and your will and offers many suggestions for improving both.

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