The Amazing Power of Metacognition
What’s more important than learning? Um. Breathing. Okay, yeah, you got me there. But besides breathing? I seriously can’t think of anything. Maybe love. Anyway, if you can breathe, and you have love in your life, for my money, the only thing left is learning.
I am a LEARNER. My top five Gallup Skills are: Woo, Learner, Intellection, Input, and Maximizer. So, yeah, I really value learning. Forget grades for a minute. The world is about learning. Friendships come from learning about each other, as do romantic relationships. When you get a new job, there’s a ‘learning curve’. I recently purchased a new car - had to learn how to turn on the wipers!
And, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or both, you’re probably pretty interested in learning, too. Because, your job. And also, your babies (whatever their ages). So let’s talk about learning - how to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. Let’s get focused, targeted and intentional.
That’s the whole point of my course - to weed out the unnecessary stuff and focus on the variables that most impact learning, and therefore, success. We’re talking about the most powerful, biggest ROI, largest bang-for-your-buck, best payoff, etc. You get the idea.
Blog Series...Comin’ Your Way!
Starting today, I’ll be writing a weekly blog series presenting the seven modules of my new online courses, Seven Skills for Student Success. I’ll be breaking the course down into its individual modules and giving you a taste of just what each one includes.
The Amazing Power of Metacognition
Do you ever think about your thinking process? Yes? Good for you? No? Ummm, I bet you’re wrong. We all have thoughts - lots of them. The question is whether or not you truly ‘tune in’ to these thoughts. The truth is that metacognition is one of the most powerful variables in the learning process. Let me tell you about harnessing that power!
Metacognition has a lot to do with your inner voice. You know, the voice that worries, kvetches and broods. Who knew that we could use this inner voice for GOOD as well as EVIL? Well, it can. In practice, metacognition is simply a habit to begin and maintain. It does take some practice, but the payoff can be enormous.
Metacognition in Practice
I am a fifth grade teacher. So let’s say I’m diving into an article about reading comprehension. I’m also a Reading Specialist, so I have a lot of background knowledge - this helps! As I’m reading the article, I’m obviously focusing on the content. But that’s not all.
I’m also actively monitoring my attention levels and understanding of what I’m reading. I’m asking myself questions like What is the point of this article? What part of it makes sense? Is there anything that doesn’t make sense? What could I do about the parts I don’t understand? Could I find a video about the same topic, or maybe read another article?
To assess my level of comprehension, I ask myself, Can I summarize this article? If I’m unable to summarize it, it means that I don’t understand it as fully as I should. I’ll also ask myself: Does this information connect to anything else I already know about the topic? If it does, that’s great! The more connections I can make between previously known and new information, the more likely the new information is to ‘stick’.
Besides summarizing the article, I might try to explain the article to someone else. Again, if I’m unable to competently do so, it shows a lack of thorough comprehension on my part. I need to reread or seek another source to help me understand.
Metacognition is a big part of learning, but it’s not the whole enchilada. There’s more to come! My next post will focus on Planning and Organization.
Please shoot me a comment! I’d love to know your thoughts about metacognition and learning! My Facebook Community, Parenting for Student Success, is filled with parents (and teachers) just like you, hoping to maximize learning for their children and students. Join me there! It’s also where I do my ‘lives’!
See you soon!