How Students Can Improve by Studying Themselves

Today’s article from the Chronicle of Higher Education describes a new method of improving study habits called “self-regulated learning” proposed by Barry J. Zimmerman of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, who purports that “explicitly coaching students to think about their study processes and to monitor their learning can pay large dividends.” As the article below notes:

“Mr. Zimmerman has spent most of his career examining what can go wrong when people try to learn new facts and skills. His work centers on two common follies: First, students are often overconfident about their knowledge, assuming that they understand material just because they sat through a few lectures or read a few chapters. Second, students tend to attribute their failures to outside forces (“the teacher didn’t like me,” “the textbook wasn’t clear enough”) rather than taking a hard look at their own study habits.”

LifeBound’s student success programs are designed to help students improve academically, socially and emotionally, and our teacher training centers around coaching skills to help students be their best. Our most widely-used book by middle schools and high schools across the country is titled, Study Skills for Teenagers, which encourages students to notice how they study and to discover their learning preferences. The book also outlines data-proven techniques to help students sharpen their study skills before they get to college. Our innovative book, Critical and Creative Thinking for Teenagers, is coordinated to 21st century skills and helps students think about thinking. To request review copies of these books, please call the LifeBound office toll free at 877.737.8510 or email

How can we better inform curriculum directors at the k-12 district level to adopt learning models that help students be their own best mentors?

How can we help teachers learn coaching techniques that foster best practices across the disciplines?

What can we do to promote deeper learning among our students—learning that focuses not only about subject matter but about themselves and the world at large—which is the cornerstone of critical and creative thinking?

Chronicle of Higher Education
by David Glenn

“OK, how many of you were overconfident about this question? I want to see someone who wrote down a 4 or 5 for confidence.”

Grazyna Niezgoda, a veteran instructor at New York City College of Technology, is reviewing an algebra quiz in front of a crowded section of developmental mathematics—a noncredit course for students who have failed the City University of New York’s mathematics entrance test. If these students want to stay at City Tech, they need to pass that test.

Across the country, many students trip on obstacles like this. But after a decade of trial and error, Ms. Niezgoda and her colleagues believe they have found an effective way to help people through. The technique is “self-regulated learning,” a series of steps that encourage students to evaluate how they study and notice where they are going wrong.

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