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The underlying metacognitive component of self-regulation in some form or
another is evident in other reviews (behavioral approaches appear not to be
represented in the more recent literature). McCombs (1984), in her review,
focused on relationships between metacognitive components, perceptions of personal control that contributed to continuing motivation, and skills training interventions. She defined skills training in a very broad sense, however, as anything
that may generate processes conducive to learning and that may become subject
to intervention. Intervention steps include cognitive and metacognitive strategy
training, and within the affective system she includes targets related to eliminating
negative and creating positive self-views and making students aware of inappropriate self-cognitions. McCombs's "motivational skills training

" program is designed to focus on affective and process variables as outcomes rather than on
performance per se; consequently, it is difficult to judge how effective the program is in enhancing learning in the conventional, institutional sense.
Derry and Murphy (1986) explicitly take Bloom's (1984) "2 sigma" criterion;
that is, to design whole-class interventions that would meet the level of achievement-two standard deviations above the norm-possible under the ideal instructional condition of one-to-one tutoring. They again use a strong top-down approach,

 developing a model of intervention from the theories of Gagne (1980),
Steinberg (1983), and metacognitive theorists such as Flavell (1979) and A. L.
Brown (1978) together with a review of intervention studies. They develop a
taxonomy of intervention targets ranging from microcomponents or tactics, which
are easily trainable, to executive components, which appear to develop only with
much in situ practice in contexts and curricula that evoke and support them. The
last position finds elaborated support from Perkins and Salomon (1989), who
referred to the "low" and "high" roads to transfer-the former based precisely on
specificity and long practice, and the latter on the deliberate and mindful abstraction of principles, and the search for analogies, that might link specific situations
with each other.
Haller, Child, and Walberg (1988) meta-analyzed 20 studies of metacognitive
intervention in reading skills and found an average effect size of 0.71,

 which is
impressive. Nevertheless, the success of such interventions is not universal, which
prompted Garer (1990) to ask why people do not use learning strategies they
have been taught to use. She concluded that training tends to remain situated; only
exceptionally will students use strategies in contexts other than those in which
they are taught. Pintrich and de Groot (1990) emphasized the motivational roots
of transfer; students need the "will" as well as the "skill" in learning if they are to
continue to use the strategies they have been taught.
Thinking today has come a long way from the simple instruction in "study
skills," and there is something of a theoretical consensus about the nature of
interventions that might enhance learning. First, the target of intervention is not
simply a tactic or microcomponent such as a particular study skill or set of study
skills, as would have been the case 30 or 40 years ago, but rather a range of
cognitive and metacognitive procedures. The catch is that the more general and
more abstract these procedures, 

the harder it is to achieve measurable results of
intervention (Derry & Murphy, 1986; Perkins & Salomon, 1989). Second, the
matter is not only cognitive but also affective, involving motivation both as a
precursor to effective strategy use (Biggs, 1987; Kirschenbaum & Perri, 1982;
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Effects of Study Skills Interventions
Pintrich & de Groot, 1990) and as a continuing support to the complex of learningrelated beliefs and procedures (McCombs, 1984). Third, the teaching context
should evoke, support, and maintain the components being targeted by intervention (Biggs, 1993; Derry & Murphy, 1986; Garner, 1990).
Collectively, then, there are several suggested conditions for successful strategy
training: (a) high and appropriate motivation, including self-efficacy and appropriate attributions (such as attributing failures to a lack of effort, and setting
realistic and attainable goals); 

(b) the strategic and contextual knowledge for
doing the task; and (c) a teaching-learning context that supports and reinforces the
strategies being taught.
At the present time, however, attempts at modeling intervention programs for
enhanced learning lack broadly based supportive data. Not to put too fine a point
on it, theory may have leapt ahead of the evidence. But even within the consensus
referred to here, the relative effectiveness of a variety of programs and thrusts
needs evaluating for both theoretical and practical reasons.

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