Metacognition is defined as the understanding and awareness of one's own thought (Gunstone, 2012).It refers to the kind of thinking that enhances the analysis, understanding, and regulation of the entire thought process. It entails thinking about one's thinking with the goal of nurturing knowledge and learning. Metacognitive knowledge include knowledge of oneself as a learner as well as factors which can have an impact on knowledge and strategies, performance, and knowledge about why and when to use the strategies (Tanner, 2012) In a school setting, a student may use metacognition when reading unfamiliar word and narrow it down into components and contextual clues to unravel a puzzle. The objective of teaching students to adopt metacognition is providing them with the ability to critically and independently identify how and when to apply metacognition strategies that are useful in a range of situations. Metacognition equips learners with the necessary tools for them to monitor their own learning. Metacognitive strategies are methods used to aid a student in understanding the way they learn. It refers to the processes made for students to think about their thinking. It can be viewed it different dimensions which include; Individual approach, Collaborative approach and whole school thinking skills methodologies.
Think aloud protocol is a form of individual approach to metacognition. It is the most effective and frequently applied tool in metacognitive strategies by learners because it provides useful information on the comprehension methods. It is produced as a result of a student while completing a task, verbalizes the thought process. In a classroom setting, the concept of metacognition can be made clearer through demonstrations across the various subjects. By applying thinking aloud about the definition of unfamiliar words and correcting calculation mistakes in math, for instance, students can get to comprehend how useful it is for someone to think about one's. It will also highlight how metacognition can be used across contexts both in school and outside the class. Think aloud strategies, helps to pass information to students that everyone can learn from mistakes and reap benefits from thinking about how they learn as well as possible ways of how their learning might be improved. Through thinking aloud, one can effectively establish the type of metacognitive discourse that learners can apply at levels of individual, small and large groups.
Collaborative work refers generally to the work done by students together so as to come up with a solution to a problem and may also be strategies with which the students interact with one another (Tanner, 2012).Collaborative metacognition is a pa larger education view of self-regulation and is basically the information that group members have with regards to information processing. Students use this approach in order to develop concepts and monitor group performance collaboratively. Metacognition in groups encompasses the group's expectations on the way it processes and performs tasks. A collaborative approach aids learning in school because shared group knowledge changes the focus on the individual learner and provide a more comprehensive and wide interaction of knowledge.
Activating Children's Thinking Skills (ACTS) applies infusion methodology approach. This approach seeks to determine several contexts in the curriculum where certain thinking skills can be nurtured such as classification of mathematical shapes, reasoning in science class, as well as decision making with regards to fictional or historical characters. Through ACTS, students can easily match thinking skills with topics, use classroom time effectively, and help teachers by providing thoughtfulness across the curriculum. The approach is more useful for lower levels of education where the teacher has full control over the curriculum in class.
Cognitive Acceleration in Mathematics Education (CASE) has been adopted by many learning institutions in a bid to raise learning standards in science education. It was developed by Shayer, Adey, and Yates (1989, 2001) and it a cognitive intervention program that nurtures and accelerate pupil's cognitive science. CASE works by providing pupils with real observations that may challenge their own understanding and perceptions. In an attempt by learners to absorb these observations, reasoning patterns of higher maturity are established. As a result, pupils can respond to open-ended scientific problems with so much confidence and high levels of creativity. Cognitive Acceleration in Mathematics Education (CAME) is aimed at aiding the improvement of a pupil with regards to mathematics resulting in enhanced achievements and better comprehension.
There are so many benefits of applying metacognition applications in classroom learning. However, there are certain challenges of its applicability. First, the teacher focuses on the rote learning techniques such as memorizing. Second, poor metacognition curtails the development of self-esteem among learners and for this reason, metacognitive strategies cannot be applicable. Third, the strategies cannot work for pupils who do not have good reading and understanding skills (Cohen, 2014). It requires learners who are able to comprehend instructions as well as meet the demand for tasks given.
In conclusion, students who use metacognition strategies to analyze and understand information are better in class than those who do not. To achieve efficiency and effectiveness in application of metacognition, teachers, and students should be shown how to use it to advance knowledge and the learning process generally.
Cohen, A.D., 2014. Strategies in learning and using a second language. Routledge.
Cohen, J.D. and Schooler, J.W., 2014. Scientific approaches to consciousness. Psychology Press.
Coskun, A., 2010. The Effect of Metacognitive Strategy Training on the Listening Performance of Beginner Students. Online Submission, 4(1), pp.35-50.
Fleming, S.M., and Lau, H.C., 2014. How to measure metacognition. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8, p.443.
Gunstone, R.F., 2012. The importance of specific science content in the enhancement of metacognition. The content of science, pp.131-146.
Tanner, K.D., 2012. Promoting student metacognition. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11(2), pp.113-120.
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