Metacognition is a term I have heard used many times during the induction process at XP. This term was, for me, initially unfamiliar, however I noticed it was regularly used in reference to student learning. I wondered about why this term was being used so often and how it related to student’s learning and related to XP.
What does metacognition mean ?
The (dictionary) definition of metacognition is the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.
Metacognition is essentially Thinking about Thinking !
Metacognition is extremely useful when learning, it allows the student to take charge of their own learning. The more aware a learner becomes of how they learn, the more able they become to assess their own learning needs, this in turn allows the learner to generate and implement strategies to meet these needs and progress.
At XP our students are encouraged and supported to take the lead with their own learning, to take ownership of their learning, they take the lead in SLC’s ( student led conference). Students present their learning to parents explaining what they have achieved and why they have or have not reached their expected grade.
Giving students learning targets and guiding questions ensures they understand what they are aiming to achieve, they become aware of their long and short term targets and understand the need to learn that particular piece of information. Evaluation is equally important in the process as it allows students to establish what has worked well for them and what has not. All of these strategies help to students to understand their own thought process and how they learn. They are thinking about thinking.
Metacognition allows students and teachers become more efficient learners, they become more aware of what they know and what they don’t know. Students can then plan their time more effectively so they can fill the gaps.
Metacognition plays an important role in learning at XP, the protocols used within sessions as well as learning targets and guiding question all link to metacognition and allow students to confidently become leaders in their own learning.
This video explains metacognition and how it links to learning.