Because cognitive strategies are a type of skill, one might expect optimal conditions for learning to be similar to those for intellectual skills. In a sense this is the case: Prerequisite skills must be mastered for cognitive strategies to be learned. However, the prerequisite skills of strategies are often extremely simple, well practiced, and readily accessible. Many strategies of attending, learning, retrieving, and problem solving can be conveyed (or retrieved) by means of a brief verbal communication. Some strategies of problem solving, however, do not appear to persist unless practiced in a variety of contexts. Recognition of this fact leads the designers of instruction to suggest that students be given frequent opportunities to solve novel problems.
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