Monthly Archives: September 2014

Everyday Metacognition

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Craig Nelson offers two metacognitive tools for expanding our thinking in the classroom and in everyday life. First, make explicit predictions and see how they work out. If you’re mistaken, ask yourself why. Second, explicitly consider how you do something (e.g., grocery shopping) and then explicitly consider alternative ways of performing the same task. Both tools allow us to see things differently and expand our thinking.

Making Thinking Visible

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Ritchhart, R., Church, M., and Morrison, K. (2011). Making thinking visible: How to promote engagement, understanding, and independence for all learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In Making Thinking Visible, the authors propose that we must make our students’ thinking visible in order to create places of intellectual stimulation.   To do this, the authors suggest first determining which modes of thinking are necessary… Read more »

Faculty Metacognition of Verbal Questioning

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Charity Peak urges faculty to reflect on how and why they pose particular questions to their students. Peak considers several “questioning taxonomies” and concludes that faculty should be asking “authentic questions” (e.g., questions without predetermined answers) as a way to cultivate a climate of genuine intellectual engagement.

Using metacognitive writing assignments to improve course performance

Mynlieff, Manogaran, St. Maurice, and Eddinger discuss the use of metacognitive writing exercises in large biology classes. Students were asked to explicitly consider why they made mistakes on exams and discuss why another answer would have been more appropriate. Students completing these assignments showed marked improvement in subsequent course assessments. Mynlieff, M., Manogaran, A. L., Maurice, M. S., & Eddinger,… Read more »

Using metacognitive awareness to facilitate healthy engagement with moral issues

John Draeger discusses five sources of discomfort he has observed through years of teaching moral philosophy. He argues “that all of us (instructors, students, those outside the classroom) need to be aware of our own sources of discomfort with moral matters if we hope to move beyond them and towards a healthy engagement with these important issues.” I believe that these sources of discomfort will apply to many topics outside of the moral philosophy classroom – hot topics abound across the disciplines!