How Metacognition Boosts Learning? Strategies for teaching metacognition in classrooms?
Teachers and educators are aware of the fact that if children reflect on how they learn new concepts, they will become better learners eventually. For instance, some students require quiet space to concentrate while thinking and processing information. On the contrary, other students feel more comfortable and find it easy to focus amidst familiar surroundings of music.
Furthermore, by gaining greater awareness of how they acquire knowledge, students learn to adjust their behavior to optimize learning. As a result, they start observing their strengths and weaknesses and how it affects their performance. In addition, this ability to comprehend one’s own thinking and feelings is called metacognition.
Metacognition boosts learning
A team of psychologists and neuroscientists published a comprehensive analysis of 10 learning techniques that students commonly use. The team discovered that the most popular techniques like re-reading materials and highlighting key points are the least effective ones. As these techniques do not contribute to student learning in the long run, on the contrary, it leads to students developing a false sense of mastery.
Moreover, the common practice among students is that they review a passage and repeat them, reflecting the rote learning. They continue the same process over and over again without understanding the material; this causes a lack of proper knowledge. Therefore, in the future, they falter when they require to apply what they have learned in practical situations. In stark contrast, Bloom’s Taxonomy guides teachers to educate students in learning any core concept properly and using them accordingly.
However, metacognition helps them recognize the gap between being familiar with the topic and having an understanding of the same. Besides, many studies and researches indicate that metacognitive activities help students reflect on their learning and lead to higher-order thinking.
Hence, self-awareness is a catalyst for assisting them in focusing on what they need to learn and what they have learned so far.
Therefore, if the teachers encourage students to reflect on, monitor, and evaluate their learning methodologies, they become self-reliant, productive, and flexible.
Written below are some of the strategies for teaching metacognition in the classroom:
Self-questioning is a strategy wherein students require to ask questions to themselves to determine the understanding level of their learning and knowledge. Students can implement the strategy at different stages of any particular lesson; this can be done silently, aloud, like in a think-pair-share activity. Also, they can execute the activity by writing the questions in reflective journals and by including their thought process.
While planning for their learning, a student might ask, “What could I do to prepare for class today?
Is there a way for teachers to determine students’ knowledge about a particular topic or subject?
Pre-assessments encourage students to express and examine their prior knowledge of the content. Hence, the teachers can take the initiative to optimize the strategy’s effectiveness by having the students come up with questions regarding the topic. Also, they can share their knowledge and details; the teacher can also ask students to compare study strategies with classmates to decide if someone else’s approach might benefit them.
Furthermore, if the particular institute has integrated ERP solutions into its system, teachers can easily facilitate pre and post-assessment facilities.
Active learning tasks
Active learning tasks include activities that the teacher can ask the students to complete to monitor their own learning and understanding. For instance, the teacher may ask the students to write down three things that they learned that day in the class and three questions that they still have about the topic.
One of the recurring questions that teachers have been using recently is multiple-choice questions. Although MCQs are practical game-type quizzes to engage learners, research shows that students use lower-level thinking skills to prepare for them. However, descriptive questions such as essays allow students to express their perspectives in their own words. Also, a learning management system is an appropriate tool for teachers to develop varied questions.
Encourage reflexive thinking
Reflexivity is one of the critical components of the metacognitive process, wherein the students become aware of their biases and prejudices. Hence, teachers can create a classroom environment conducive to deeper learning by encouraging them to express their views on various social and moral dilemmas.
Consequently, when students engage in healthy conversations or write essays about different societal issues, they become aware of their thoughts. Additionally, they learn others’ perspectives, challenge their own biases, and become flexible.
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