learning in general and the principles of effective literacy instruction for typical and struggling learners presented in Chapter 2. This convergence leads to having greater confidence in the findings and further indicates the value of incorporating them into the design of instruction for other populations, such as adult learners. How to use the principles of learning and effective literacy instruction presented in this report to substantially enhance the literacy of diverse populations outside school is an important question for future research.


The ideal culmination of successful learning is the development of expertise. Learners who achieve expertise tend to be self-regulated (Azevedo and Cromley, 2004; Pintrich, 2000b; Schunk and Zimmerman, 2008; Winne, 2001). They formulate learning goals, track progress on these goals, identify their own knowledge deficits, detect contradictions, ask good questions, search relevant information sources for answers, make inferences when answers are not directly available, and initiate steps to build knowledge at deep levels of mastery. The “meta” knowledge of language, cognition, emotions, motivation, communication, and social interactions that is part of self-regulated learning is well developed. The expert learner forms conceptually rich and organized representations of knowledge that resist forgetting, can be retrieved automatically, and can be applied flexibly across tasks and situations. The development of expertise has specific features:

1. Experts acquire and maintain skill through consistent and long-term engagement with domain-relevant activities, deliberate practice, and corrective feedback (Ericsson, 2006).

2. Experts notice features and meaningful patterns in situations and tasks that are not noticed by novices (Chase and Simon, 1973; Chi, Glaser, and Rees, 1982; Rawson and van Overschelde, 2008).

3. Experts have content knowledge that is organized around core mental models and concepts that reflect deep understanding (Mosenthal, 1996; Vitale, Romance, and Dolan, 2006).

4. Experts have the metacognitive skills to think about and apply strategies (Hacker, Dunlosky, and Graesser, 2009).

5. Expert knowledge is tuned and conditionalized, so it includes representing the contexts in which particular knowledge, skills, and strategies apply (Anderson et al., 1995).

6. Experts retrieve and execute relevant knowledge and skills automatically, which enables them to perform well on complex tasks and to free cognitive resources for more attention-demanding activities (Ackerman, 1988).

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