Metacognition and the Student Success and Remediation Program

scott's thoughts Mar 30, 2022

Previously in our blogs, we examined the role of the student, success coach, and faculty in the Student Success Coaching Model. The improved outcomes we expect from the Student Success Coaching Model depend on all three parties fulfilling their duties in the process. When this cooperation occurs, everyone benefits from improved performance. We now begin our examination of the essential role metacognition plays in our Student Success Coaching Model

A change in basic assumptions takes place in our coaching model, in which both the faculty and students adjust their thinking about the purpose of a class and the responsibility for the class material:

  1. Material is not just covered; it is uncovered.
  2. As the educator, you may not discuss all the material that is testable.
  3. The responsibility to learn lies with the students.

Even though the responsibility for success lies ultimately on the student, the faculty/advisors have ample opportunity to create platforms in which students can not only thrive but become their own success coaches. By teaching students how to learn about thinking, and think about learning, we give them the tools to adapt and evolve their own learning capabilities to fit the rigors of post-graduate education.

Toward this end, we place focus on the science (or is it an art?) of metacognition, the purposeful observation of how we think and learn.

Metacognition comes naturally to some; certain people seem to understand from an early age that they have a knack for absorbing material in a certain way, just as some of us know just by experience that we never really understand a process until we have performed it ourselves.

However, a great many students can get to the graduate level without ever having been exposed to the idea of metacognition – their learning so far has been based almost entirely on how much they can memorize and regurgitate correctly, and information learned in that way is often quickly forgotten after its needs has disappeared. This type of learning, such as it is, loses its usefulness at a graduate level and in a field that requires constant interaction. Every student who walks into a classroom has the ability to learn the material successfully, but we sometimes must show them the way.

The idea of “thinking about thinking” is a concept to which we must introduce our students. Naturally, that introduction is only the beginning, because simply thinking about thinking is insufficient.

Practicing metacognition means:

  1. Becoming aware of how we learn individually. What is my learning style?
  2. Discovering what strategies best suit your learning abilities. What really works for me when I need to understand something new?
  3. Implementing a “plan of action” for learning new material. How can I use what I know to commit different types of new material to my knowledge set in a meaningful way?

If you would like an in-depth look at the use of metacognition in teaching and learning, remember that Massey Martin LLC offers a free webinar on the subject. In our Student Success and Remediation webinar, we examine common learning styles and how your preferred learning style(s) can affect how you process and remember new material – and how you teach that material to others. We discuss powerful techniques for bringing learning styles into the classroom. There are various, exciting methods of engaging and involving students that bring material to life for them and ensure they learn what they are meant to learn. Finally, we will discuss the many ways in which students can be introduced to the workings of their own minds inside and outside the classroom so that these skills can be used to their advantage. The better students are at teaching themselves, the better we will be at teaching them everything they need to know to be successful in their PA education.

 

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