Do you understand the meaning of ‘How to learn the skill to learn?’ ‘How to learn the skill to learn’ sounds complicate enough for the Non-Adult Continuing Educators.


How to learn the skill to learn

Smith (1983) stated that these two elements, knowledge and concept, involve people having or acquiring whatever understandings or abilities they require to gain efficiency in the situations and setting they encounter. They may need discussion or problem-solving skills to learn collaboratively. They may need study skills to ensure success in higher education or resources evaluation skills to learn on their own with efficiency.


Now, in reading this article, you are already learned the skill of recognizing the factors of an Adult Continuing Educator with the keywords: skill, Adult Continuing Educators, problem solving, collaborating, concept and knowledge. With these keywords, you may understand the reason that why:

  1. Adults learn
  2. How to learn collaboratively?
  3. Adults need to learn to solve-problem
  4. What concept and knowledge are involved?


Some other examples

Skill to develop techniques such as (Gibbs, 1982):

  1. Learn how to negotiate institutional and discipline-based conventions about what counts and success in studying.
  2. Develop students’ conception of learning and change their approach to learning from a surface approach to an in-depth approach (usually takes a great deal of time, e.g. spread over weeks, months or even years).


Gibbs use the image below as exercises and demonstration that convey his ideas mentioned above:



  1. A rider on a horse is facing to the left.


Teach the skill:

  1. Convey the meaning of the image
  2. Use the idea of how to help the drawer to perceive the image in a meaningful way.


Interpretation of the word ‘Learning’ (p.g. 88)

  1. Learning means an increase of knowledge
  2. Learning means memorizing
  3. Learning means the acquisition of facts or procedures to be used in practice.
  4. Learning involves abstraction of meaning.
  5. Learning is an interpretative process aimed at the understanding of reality.


What exactly do you mean by the word ‘learning’? (p.g.88)

Student: “It’s gaining knowledge. To gain some knowledge is learning.”

Interviewer: “Could you explain what you mean by gaining knowledge?”

Student: “We obviously want to learn more. I want to know as much as possible. Just picking up bits of information, really.”


To learn the skill of learning (Cunningham, 1982):

  1. To know how the process of learning the skill of learning is another complicated task.
  2. The type of learners’ learning characteristics, so that, we can understand more about the process of learning the skill.


The process of learning the skill of learning (Coleman, 1976 cited by Cunningham, 1982):


A. Symbolic of information assimilations

  1. Receiving information
  2. Assimilating and organizing to find the principle
  3. Application inferred from a general principle to particular.
  4. Application in a field of action


B. Experiential learning

  1. The action followed by observed general effects.
  2. Understanding general effects in particular instances.
  3. Understanding general principle
  4. Application through action to new circumstances.





Smith, R.M.

Gibbs, G

Cunningham, P.M.

All the above are in the following issues,

Smith, R.M.     1983     Helping adults learn how to learn. Issues number 19. New directions for continuing education. Jossey Bass Publication





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