TEACHING METACOGNITION: A SUMMARY OF SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FROM THE 2008 "ON THE CUTTING EDGE" WORKSHOP
Workshop participants shared strategies they have used successfully to teach or assess metacognition. These strategies included revealing expert thought processes; modeling expert behavior and procedures; using technology to capture student thought processes; having students make predictions before they observe data, compare their observations with their predictions, and explain the differences; and helping students to make appropriate attributions regarding their failures and successes to factors that are within their control – what they study, how they study, and in what environment they choose to study.
Students who engage in self-monitoring and self-regulating behaviors are able to learn more efficiently and engage in deeper learning than students who don’t, enabling students to retain more of the course content than they would without those metacognitive skills. Teaching metacognition is one route to teaching critical thinking, as the process of engaging in self-monitoring and self-regulation involves asking questions such as “How?” “Why?” and “What if?” instead of just “What?” Student learning (as measured by classroom assessments) increases dramatically when students learn to monitor and regulate their learning strategies. A full description of the workshop and collections of teaching activities can be found on the workshop website: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/metacognition/workshop08/index.html.