The Power of Self-Explanation in Learning and Teaching

Self-explanation is a powerful tool for learning and teaching. It is a process of actively engaging with material, reflecting on it, and making connections between concepts. Self-explanation has been found to be an effective strategy for improving learning outcomes, particularly in complex domains such as mathematics and science. This article will explore the power of self-explanation in learning and teaching, and discuss how it can be used to enhance student learning.

Self-explanation is a cognitive process in which learners actively explain their understanding of a concept or problem. It involves reflecting on the material, making connections between concepts, and generating explanations for why something is true. Self-explanation has been found to be an effective strategy for improving learning outcomes, particularly in complex domains such as mathematics and science.

Self-explanation has been found to be an effective strategy for improving learning outcomes because it encourages learners to actively engage with the material. By reflecting on the material and making connections between concepts, learners are able to better understand and remember the material. Additionally, self-explanation encourages learners to think critically about the material, which can lead to deeper understanding and better problem-solving skills.

Self-explanation can be used in a variety of ways to enhance student learning. For example, teachers can use self-explanation to help students understand difficult concepts. By asking students to explain their understanding of a concept, teachers can help students make connections between concepts and better understand the material. Additionally, teachers can use self-explanation to help students develop problem-solving skills. By asking students to explain their understanding of a problem and how they solved it, teachers can help students develop the skills necessary to solve similar problems in the future.

Self-explanation can also be used to help students review material. By asking students to explain their understanding of a concept or problem, teachers can help students review material and better remember it. Additionally, self-explanation can be used to help students develop metacognitive skills. By asking students to explain their understanding of a concept or problem, teachers can help students become more aware of their own thinking processes and better understand how they learn.

Finally, self-explanation can be used to help students develop self-regulation skills. By asking students to explain their understanding of a concept or problem, teachers can help students become more aware of their own learning processes and better regulate their own learning. Additionally, self-explanation can help students become more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, which can help them become more self-directed learners.

In conclusion, self-explanation is a powerful tool for learning and teaching. It encourages learners to actively engage with the material, reflect on it, and make connections between concepts. Self-explanation has been found to be an effective strategy for improving learning outcomes, particularly in complex domains such as mathematics and science. Additionally, self-explanation can be used to help students review material, develop problem-solving skills, and develop metacognitive and self-regulation skills. By using self-explanation in the classroom, teachers can help students become more engaged and successful learners.