The Strategic Network and How it Affects Learning for Students

Posted by Nikki Rankin on 12/9/2016 7:30:00 AM

In the last newsletter, I explained some research about the recognition networks and the beginnings of understanding how UDL can work in a classroom. The second of the three networks is strategic network, and I’ll go into this in detail now.

The strategic network helps us plan, execute, and monitor internally generated mental and motor patterns. Strategy is used in everything we do, even if we are not conscious of this happening. Within this area, the brain identifies a goal, designs a plan, executes the plan, self-monitors and corrects or adjust actions, if necessary. This is done within the frontal lobe. Gopher, 1996, found that skill instruction is often more effective when the components of the process are learned simultaneously rather than one at a time. When a teacher expresses goals clearly, gives verbal instructions, or offers models for students to work from, this supports the students by stressing the importance of strategic skills and encouraging students to be guided by clear goals and plans.

Students learn best when good instruction and good models, and they are given plenty of opportunities to practice and to receive ongoing, relevant feedback.  Now, the kinds of models and supports for individual learners depends on the student’s particular strategic strengths and challenges. Awareness of differences can help teachers design optimal strategic teaching for different kinds of learners.

Understanding the strategic network’s function and the differences in the student’s strategic network his helpful when teaching skills and strategies such as predicting, summarizing, and determining the steps needed to solve a problem or write an essay.

The next time I will finish with our third network, affective networks and put this all together after that.

Michele Neumann  Michelle Neumann, Assistant Director