Dave Westmoreland describes a great classroom activity through which students in his biology course explore the methods used by people to “know” the “truth” about something, and how these ways of knowing might be different in scientific and lay environments. He reports that this activity is a good lead-in for the discussion of hot topics in biology, although many of us might find it adaptable to courses outside of biology.
Aaron Richmond and several of his students briefly summarize a few studies that illustrate the learning benefits of intentional metacognitive exercises, but also point out that there is much remaining to help us, students and instructors, understand how to most effectively incorporate metacognitive practices.
John Draeger’s post, Cultivating a Habit of Constructive Discomfort, sounds, well, uncomfortable. But, through a comparison with exercise and Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, he makes an argument that convinced me that I should regularly accept (and strive for) some discomfort.
In this post, Lauren Scharff argues that we must attend to the pattern of student “buy-in” to learning opportunities, with stronger students often showing earlier adoption and motivation, and weaker students often showing low motivation and resistance. Thus, a “one-size-fits-all” approach when implementing metacognitive strategies will almost inevitably fail for too many of our students, and we need to scaffold the activities more than we might initially realize.