Thinking about thinking…..
Meta-cognition loosely means thinking about thinking. It is often a goal that teachers pursue. In order to become more independent, students should learn to monitor and reflect upon their own learning.
In John Hattie’s 2009 book, “Visible Learning,” he indicates that meta-cognitive strategies can be quite effective. In the language of the book they have a ‘high effect size,’ meaning that Hattie would recommend such strategies as worthy of further investigation. To Hattie, meta-cognitive strategies include planning how to approach a given learning task, evaluating progress and monitoring comprehension, for instance, by self-questioning as you read a text. In fact, Hattie groups the notion of ‘study skills’ in the same category; an approach which also has a high effect size. This gives strength to the argument that we should pay attention to thinking about thinking, although Hattie’s examples are relatively prosaic compared to other conceptions that are available.
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