The influence of a learning strategies programme on low achieving black secondary school students' academic achievement
The purpose of this study was to determine, by means of a review of literature and an empirical investigation, the influence of a learning strategies pro!:,rramme on low achieving Black Secondary School students' academic achievement. From the review ofliterature and the empirical study it was concluded that the effective use of learning strategies have an influence on academic achievement defined as Grade Point Average (GPA). It was also concluded that the effective use ofleaming strategies can make learning more etTicient and effective. It was concluded from the literature review that variables such as self-efficacy, intrinsic values, test anxiety, strategy use and self-regulation have an influence on cO!:,TJlitive development and a subsequent influence on the efficient use ofleaming strate!:,ries, which in turn influence academic achievement. The literature review indicated that learning strategies involve three types of strategies, namely cognitive (such as elaboration and organisation); metacognitive (strategies used to monitor learning) and resource management strategies (such as time management, management of one's environment, exertion of effort and help seeking). Motivation is also important for effective learning. Motivation processes such as expectancy, self-efficacy and attributions affect the learner's thoughts positively (when a learner is highly motivated) or negatively (when the learner lacks motivation). Expectancy (the individual's belief that what he/she desires will follow his/her involvement in a particular task) motivates the learner to participate in learning tasks when it is at a high level. A low expectancy level, on the other hand, causes less involvement as a learner will opt tor non-participation rather than being labelled a failure. The more successful a learner is, the higher his/her self-efficacy becomes. Self-eflicacy is a learner's personal beliefs relating to his/her capability ofperfonning a learning task successfully. High self:efficacy stimulates etTort and persistence when problems are encountered and is thus a determinant of learning involvement and high achievement. Learners become involved in particular learning activities because they regard themselves capable of performing such activities and they tend to avoid activities perceived as beyond their capabilities. High achievement level associated with high self: efficacy, is characterised by learning strategy use as the learner will do everything possible to aid his/her learning so that success is achieved. High achievers develop a positive outlook in their learning experiences and this affects their attributions. Attributions, which are defined as the learner's interpretation of the causes of his/her successes or failures, determine future perfonnance. A highly motivated learner attributes his/her failures to controllable, internal and unstable causes such as effort, which enable the learner to work towards improvement. A less motivated learner attributes his/her failures to stable causes such as aptitude and thus limits the learner's chances for improvement as aptitude is fixed. The empirical study indicated that learning strategies influence academic achievement. The learning strategies (memory, summary and test-taking) which were taught to the subjects during the experimental treatment are good predictors of academic achievement as these variables contributed significantly to academic achievement.
- Education