Metacognition is one of the most underly estimated topics when talking about teaching methods. Not only that, but it is one of the answers to help high school teachers and professors throughout the courses they teach. First off, what even is metacognition? Metacognition involves having awareness and understanding of our own thoughts. In other words, you are thinking about thinking. This important topic is substantial due to multiple reasonings that will be further discussed.
The use of metacognition can be useful for students trying to grasp an understanding of their course. In one of the articles I found, Metacognition – Cultivating Reflection to Help Students Become Self-Directed Learners, it talks about how “students need explicit training to practice reflection and metacognition”. This introduction tries to make it known that metacognition accomplishes the stimulation of the mind which aides in student’s success in their learning. Not letting students know what metacognition is and how it can help them in their course, will ultimately be a waste of time. When teachers and professors teach what metacognition is throughout the course that they are teaching, they are helping students to use the method for success. The same article also explains how reflecting is important for success. Reflecting is better when it is brought up and done in groups and socializing is involved. It is important to note that when practicing metacognition, communication is needed for everlasting results.
The second article I found called, Using Metacognition to Promote Learning, expressed the importance and key points involving metacognition in the classroom. The extensive article talks about what metacognition means because it can be confusing. It stands for “cognition about cognition” or “thinking about thinking”. It is important to know and let our students know the technique we are introducing so they can use it properly and correctly. Something’s that I believe were crucial in this article was how “students must not only hear explanations of metacognitive skills, but they must also observe them” (pg 1). This is an important matter since we cannot expect students to know the act of metacognition and how to use it without implementing it. This leads to students using it in real life settings and then after they reflect on what they have done.
Both informative articles include the importance of metacognition and what it means. They talk about how to make metacognition effective for students, we must tell them how to implement it as well as show them, so they have a model to observe. The first article was involved with reflecting as much as the topic of metacognition. It made it known that reflecting has better results when worked in groups so there is more of an open conversation and students can share and learn from others. The second article focused more on what metacognition is and how it can be used in a classroom setting. Both articles make it clear that metacognition is a very crucial point for success in student studies. When you think about your thinking, you are learning and obtaining more information that helps you really grasp whatever you are learning. This is a great tool for students as well as teachers and should be discussed more between staff and students.
In chapter 6, the importance of mindset is discussed. One kind of mindset includes a fixed mindset. These kind of people tend to be inconsiderate of others success, avoid challenges and criticism, as well as give up easily. The other kind of mindset is known as growth, has qualities opposite to a fixed one. People with growth mindset are very motivational and show constant effort. This is important to discover and understand, because many students can either benefit or suffer with such a mindset. It would be quite beneficial to have all students have a growth mindset, so there academics flourish to success.
I find very interesting how many American mothers and children believe that innate abilities are more powerful than putting in effort into their education. Innate abilities are found more in mathematical studies as well, which is interesting.
A growth mindset can definitely help increase our retention rates due to the simple fact that this type of mindset has room for growth and learning. Students with this mindset can most definitely conquer and stabilize any course.
Mcguire’s 10 metacognitive learning strategies are very resourceful and helpful for students to study. The two that I currently use include taking notes by hand in class, as well as doing homework without using solved examples as a guide. I feel that this is effective because students need to learn how to understand material without guidance of previous work they have done. If they use a guide that has problems that have already been solved, then they are just simply copying and not retaining any knowledge. Notes in class help too because when a student physically has to write notes, they learn more rather then giving them printed notes that they might never read. These strategies I use are both a study skill and a metacognitive skill because they enforce the student to learn as well as help obtain the knowledge they need in the course. To increase retention by 5-10% we can use at least five of these strategies. This way is one strategy is not effective then we have four other ones to use and see if it aids a student more.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is definitely a great strategic way to help learn for students and teachers. I did not expect such successful outcomes, which surprised me for sure. I think it is important to layout what the point of a class in in the very beginning. I make sure to do this in my syllabus, and constantly remind my students this. This creates a great result because it helps everyone focus on the goal and having a goal really helps achieve more. I believe that this not only works for a group of students in a classroom but also just one individual. This book has it all laid out on how to start and finish to successfully learn and so this can be beneficial for a student to grasp on. I like the study cycle because it is very simply planned out. It is very clear and obvious to following instructions on studying makes sense. This is definitely a great guide for students to follow because unfortunately a lot of students do not know how to study and where to start. This gives them a push and initiative on what to do. I think that to meet our goal of increasing retention 5-10% we need to get students to not only learn how to study, but to learn as well. It is crucial to learn something before you study it because learning is more long term and effective while studying without anything learned is something that stays with one for a short period of time.
- Are your students at the associates or baccalaureate level?
My students are at the BTech level.
- Do you use different teaching strategies for associate level students than for baccalaureate level students? Why or why not?
I only teach at the BTech.
- What is metacognition and what concept from the chapter resonates with you and why? (identify the page number)
Metacognition is being aware and understanding one’s thought process. I enjoyed the author bringing up metacognition and how it is a key ingredient in students’ success. In page 16-17 it introduced what metacognition is and how it is beneficial for students. I like this because it is important that students are aware of what they are learning and thinking since most of the time it is really easy for them to get distracted and not follow the material that they are taught.
- What are other factors that might influence student learning?
I feel that self motivation is a key factor that influences student learning as well. This is all due to the fact that without motivation and the will to do well in a course, a student will not successfully grasp the material taught and do well in not only the class itself, but real world problems that apply later in the future. Students need to come into class with a clear mind and motivation set with them to want to understand what they are being taught.
- How can metacognition help us towards our goal of increasing retention 5-10% starting in the fall?
I feel that metacognition can help our students be more focused on their courses and what are asked of them. This could help them be less distracted when they are doing homework, completing a project, and most importantly taking a test.
Due to the fact that I teach upper level classes, I have developed my own tool to teach these classes. for example in my vibration class, I developed my own MATLAB software due to the long complex algebra equations and designing real world problems.I also created the Finite Element Educational Program to improve MECH student performances in Finite Element Class.
It is really important for me to thoroughly teach my students what is involved in the course due to the difficulty. I make myself available whenever needed by students. I keep my students busy with homework and projects so they know what to expect in reality, which is very important because a lot of other professors tend to not challenge their students for the better. By challenging students, there is more of a successful preparation for when they need to apply what they learn in the real world. I give my students very useful handouts that include questions that will help them along the way.