Suggestions for Building Metacognition

Suggestions for Building Metacognition 

  1. When learners succeed at tasks of any kind, focus their attention on and label the thinking skills that have enabled them to be successful.
  2. Encourage students to reflect on what they do that is effective and to give names to these processes.
  3. Model strategies by thinking aloud or by asking students why you did something, when you yourself successfully employ a thinking skill.
  4. Encourage students to talk to themselves while they think. At early stages, it may be necessary for them to talk out loud; but eventually they should be able to talk silently to themselves about what they are doing.
  5. Help students over learn basic skills, so that they can afford the leisure to focus on how they are thinking rather than being overwhelmed by the basic skills included in the task at hand.
  6. Recognize the conditional nature of many thinking skills. Help students realize that a major part of using these skills is knowing when (not just how) to use them.
  7. To encourage transfer, emphasize connections within and beyond the topic of a given lesson. Encourage the integration of knowledge acquired on different occasions.
  8. Provide feedback on the degree to which learners have evaluated their comprehension correctly, not just on the degree to which they have comprehended correctly.
  9. Emphasize not only knowledge about strategies, but also why these strategies are valuable and how to use them.
  10. Be aware that students may not transfer thinking strategies far from the original setting, unless they are guided to do so.
  11. Supply prompts to aid learners in monitoring the methods and depth at which they are processing information. These prompts can range from simple reminders or checklists to detailed scaffolded instruction programs.
  12. Avoid excessive dependence on external prompting. Although prompts may be necessary in early stages of the development of thinking skills, the ultimate goal is self-regulation.
  13. Focus on affective or personality aspects as well as the cognitive components of thinking skills.
  14. Encourage students to work together on higher order activities, so that they can model thinking skills to one another and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of various thinking strategies. For example, encourage them to ask one another why they employed certain cognitive strategies. By permission .(E. Vockell, Educational Psychology)
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