Teaching metacognition Oakham School TeachMeet – Friday 1 February 2019
What is this thing I keep hearing about?! The ‘stuff’ I am learning about… How am I coming to know it / why? Someone is telling me… An ‘expert’ – really? Does he even know what he is talking about…? Founded in educational research – meta-studies / guidance docs Examples – relevant to my context / local conditions Discussions to explore these ideas with people who can shape my thinking Stimulus reading trial in my own teaching impact on pupils’ learning • Cognition is the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning • Metacognition is about the ways learners monitor and purposefully direct their learning
From the EEF… Click here for the podcast Click here for the guidance report
A recent example… What here will support my KAA paragraphs? How can I use empirical evidence to support evaluative judgements? What type of ‘evidence’ is most robust in economic argument? Data use: What is this chart showing? What techniques can we use for THIS data? What is the link to the question? Read the questions first: why? Focus is on interpretation of the questions (not really planning yet) Looking for key focus / theory, instructions, possibility conclusion too
Some examples of teaching thinking and raising metacognitive awareness • 1st form French since the introduction of MYP • GCSE and A level essay writing
From the Oakham MYP Unit Planning guide: The teaching and learning objectives represent the following: • Use of knowledge, understanding and skills • Factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge ATL skills that have been learned and practised during a Unit can be integrated in assessment through a variety of tasks and projects as well as traditional testing. ATL skills therefore will directly link to the final summative task of a unit, or at least a formative task. This should be indicated in the Unit Planner.
Case study 1 – 1st form French • Metacognitive skills are prominent in the MYP literature and as with the IB Approaches to Learning should feature explicitly in an MYP unit plan . Pupils should be expected to build upon and develop them as they move through each phases and these skills should also be assessed. • This term in French we have set aside two weeks before Easter to prepare their assessment with them. The skills we are teaching and assessing in this unit are REFLECTION and COMMUNICATION through peer marking and giving feedback. • At this ‘novice’ level we will model if for them but they might suggest criteria for feedback for example(e.g. accent, fluency, range of vocab…) • This is done by asking them questions such as : • ‘What kind of information would you like to receive about your work?’ • ‘What feedback would be most helpful to show you how to improve?’ • ‘How should this feedback be recorded and communicated?’
Further examples of thinking skills taught in 1st form French: • Vocabulary learning: • At the beginning of the year we ask for ideas about how to remember vocab for a test and make a class list. The class tries a new strategy each week and reflect on how it worked for them. By half term they all have their ‘preferred’ strategy. • Reading strategies: • We introduced these with a challenging text on the topic of school containing lots of new vocab. We let them have a go and then had plenary not about what they understood, but HOW they understood it and made a list of strategies (e.g. looking for cognates, recognising words from other words derived from the same family, sensible ‘guessing’, using visual clues, using context, using own resources such as books) • Recognising patterns: • We expose pupils to a new grammatical rule in context (reading or listening). Then we ask them to find similarities and differences within the example and try to deduce a rule. They work in groups and then discuss how they spot patterns and whether this skill could be useful elsewhere(for example, in their own language).
Case study 2 – GCSE and A level essay writing in French Basic idea: Thinking through the process aloud and as a group Shows them how long it takes to think and write and the conscious process they need to go through Give them the essay title As a class agree upon and divide it into sub sections Ask pupils to brainstorm ideas on a section each with examples They write as you type : suggest openings, then each pupil in turn suggests how to make their points. Deliberately make mistakes for them to spot… Pause and ask questions as you write – why is this a good thing to say here? Is there another way of phrasing it? What needs to come next? (e.g. argument followed by example) Why have you chosen that example? Read through with the mark scheme and allocate marks for the group effort
Further reading: • Teaching Thinking pocket book • EEF guidance report • EEF metacognitive strategies poster • Trialled and tested podcast • Teacher Toolkit: improving metacognition • TeacherHeadblog