Meet Rahul. Rahul goes to school from 8:30AM to 3:30PM and then comes home. At home, Rahul and his mom, Sheila, take stock of how the day went while he eats a snack. Rahul then starts studying and does his homework from 4:15PM to 5:15PM. Once his homework is done, Rahul spends 15 minutes checking his progress and if needed, taking his mom’s help. Sheila also checks to see if he has completed the required amount of his syllabus and together, they review whether he is confident of what he has learnt.
Why do Sheila and Rahul do this? Rahul is keen to do well, while being a part of his football team in school. He also enjoys western singing. Now, Rahul, has set certain goals he wants to achieve and he has drawn out a clear vision plan on how to achieve them. What Rahul displays is a strong metacognitive ability that gives him an edge in his studies while balancing his extra-curricular activities.
The awareness and comprehension of one's own thought process is referred to as metacognition. It entails keeping an eye on and controlling cognitive processes like planning, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Children can evaluate their learning strategies, determine when modifications are necessary, and consider their own learning processes thanks to metacognition. In essence, metacognition gives students the tools they need to become more productive and independent learners.
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Do children really need metacognition?
Metacognition is a valuable cognitive skill that directly impacts a child's learning journey. They become more confident in their problem-solving skills and are capable of identifying and addressing areas that need improvement, ultimately leading to academic success and professional success.
5 Tips to Master Metacognition
1. Setting Clear Learning Goals
Parents should strongly encourage children to set specific and achievable learning objectives. For example, Rahul needs to finish his syllabus and do one revision before every class test with an aim to get 90%+. This practice helps them focus their efforts, track their progress, and stay motivated throughout their educational journey.
2. Reflection and Self-Assessment
Teach kids to reflect on their learning experiences on a regular basis. Encourage them to reflect on the methods that were successful, the difficulties they encountered, and future improvements. Self-evaluation encourages a deeper comprehension of their learning process.
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3. Monitoring and Adjusting Strategies
Encourage kids to keep track of their study methods and strategies. Encourage them to change course if they run into problems or see no progress being made. For instance, writing down a paragraph they are finding difficult to comprehend may help retention. This adaptability enables ongoing development.
4. Time Management and Study Techniques
Encourage children to record their study techniques and strategies. If they encounter issues or feel that they are not making any progress, exhort them to change course. For example, an hour may be enough for completing Mathematics but not enough for science and hence, time dedicated to science needs to increase. This adaptability allows for continuous improvement.
5. Questioning and Critical Thinking
Encourage kids to think critically and ask questions about the material they are learning. Encourage conversations that sharpen their critical thinking skills and encourage them to assess the information they encounter. No question is too silly.
Learning how to master metacognition gives students the power to take charge of their learning journey. Children can improve their learning strategies, make wise decisions, and ultimately achieve academic excellence by understanding their own cognitive processes.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
- Benjamin Franklin