Metacognition- thinking about one’s own thinking
“Thinking about one’s own thinking improves performance and the ability to work independently. The ability to stand back and observe one’s own though process is an important skill of effective learners.” – One of the 12 principles of knowledge acquisition by Owen et al. (1994) as quoted in Leading Every Day.
Metacognition shows up a lot in my life.
- One of my best friends, who is a teacher, spent the beginning of this school year implementing a metacognition journal with her seventh graders. We had many conversations about what she did to help her students reflect on their own thinking as learners.
- Our district has spent the last two years studying the principles of Strategies That Work and The Comprehension Toolkit by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. The principles are research-based strategies that good readers do naturally when comprehending complex texts. Teaching the strategies is all about breaking down the reading process with explicit modeling for students to “see” what goes on inside the heads of good readers.
- My reflective practices are often about my thoughts about my thinking.
We can only truly think about our own thinking if we take the time. This reminds me of what I read about meditation. While meditation is NOT a habit I have developed, it is something I strive towards in the future. Both meditation and metacognition require we slow down our mind (deep breathing helps!) long enough to see the thoughts whizzing by. I am a better metacognitioner (is that a word?!) than I am a meditator, but they are both skills I hope to enhance.
Reflective questions to consider:
- How do you support your metacognition?
- How do you support the metacognition of teachers and students?
- Why is it important to think about our own thinking?
- Do you have any tips for my future mediation practice?
Abecedary of Reflection