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Metacognition (thinking about thinking) can ensure students understand more about HOW they learn

With access to so much knowledge at the tips of our fingers, it is growing increasingly important for students to know more about HOW to learn as their teachers guide them through WHAT to learn.

I just read a longer article from researcher-academic David Conley at the University of Oregon who proposes that we stop using the term "noncognitive" for the skills and tasks associated with the all important skills of executive functioning.

This paragraph kind of sums up the thinking:

If we were to apply the term metacognitive learning skills to describe the full range of behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs students demonstrate while engaging in the learning process, we could establish semantic parity between cognitive knowledge and noncognitive skills. This would be a monumental accomplishment that could lead to a dramatic increase in the development and use of new tools and techniques designed specifically to help us develop insight into student learning strategies. Gaining this type of insight would enable educators to teach students how to learn, as well as what to learn. It would also enable students to take more ownership and control over their own learning. [link to article]

Before moving to Illinois, I had never heard the term "noncognitive skills" -- Seems like an oxymoron to me, since actually more thinking is involved in reflection, decision-making, coping with frustration, sequencing and developing good habits over time.

With access to so much knowledge at the tips of our fingers, it is growing increasingly important for students to know more about HOW to learn as their teachers guide them through WHAT to learn.

What's your take on this?

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