The learning methods behind metacognition
What's the value of metacognition in the classroom? Source: Avel Chuklanov/Unsplash

Maximising a student’s learning potential has always been the priority of teachers worldwide. As such, it makes sense that metacognition has recently gained global media traction within the education sector.

Referring to the monitoring or reflection of current and recent thoughts, the process allows students to consciously adapt and manage their thinking strategies during problem-solving and purposeful thinking exercises.

But in world full of digital distractions, the importance of metacognition can be easily overlooked. As attention spans become shorter and shorter, student thinking strategies may can only stretch so far.

Are metacognitive skills being pushed out by technology? Source: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Exam wrappers 

One way teachers can enhance student thinking strategies is through ‘exam wrappers’.

Once a test is handed back to a pupil, the teacher asks them to think up a few questions to help boost their understanding of the given grade.

For instance, students could ask themselves:

Did I prepare enough for this test?

– Is there anything I could have done differently?

Were there any challenges that I could conquer next time?

– Is the feedback from my teacher helping me reach the next level of my learning?

By expanding their inquisitiveness and cultivating curiosity, their growth mindset improves and their perspective broadens.

Take the driver’s seat

As highlighted in a recent Edutopia article, “The key to metacognition is to encourage students to manage their own learning instead of passively absorbing material.”

By handing responsibility over to a student, hoping they’ll drive their academic scores towards success, teachers instil valuable skills like self-confidence, intuition and adaptability.

“Through dedication and hard work, they can learn to be more resilient and overcome many challenges that may otherwise feel impossible. Simply being aware that there’s a difference between a fixed and a growth mindset is one of the most effective metacognitive strategies that students can benefit from,” Edutopia adds.

Encourage self-expression

Another learning method teachers can use to motivate students’ metacognitive skills grants them the freedom to create and express their inner thoughts through independent projects.

Giving students an opportunity for expression helps them release inner burdens or stress that hold back their learning.

It also enables them to think in a different way, through art projects or creative activities, for example, metacognition is enhanced.

What’s your opinion of metacognition? Is it a smart way to motivate learners or is it a technique that will become obsolete with the rise of technology?

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