Using Metacognition Learning to Make Children Smarter
By Andrew Loh
Teaching your children with metacognition principles and techniques
will help and encourage them to go deeper into what they learn and imbibe
in the course of their learning process. In fact, metacognition
learning is all about learning challenges when your children will attempt to
fine tune what they learn and absorb in their classroom and
elsewhere. When you make your children think about their own
thinking process, they can easily develop their intellect and
intelligence. In fact, when children become conscious of their
thoughts, opinion and feelings soon after an activity, they can
recall with relative easiness all those processes and actions that
they took during the learning process. You will need to ask a
progressive list of questions that ask children how they proceeded
with their thinking process and the range of techniques they used to
achieve their goals.
Let us stop for a while and think how we can raise the level of
awareness among our children of different age levels. Just remember
that teaching these skills is possible when your children are in the
age bracket of two to twelve years; brain development in young
toddlers and infants are slow paced and you may need to wait until
they become two years old before you can train them to think in a
Questions that center on the type of thinking your children did:
This is perhaps the basic step in the entire process. The outcome of
this step decides the way in which your children tune their mind to
evaluate certain situations.
What type and kind of thinking did you do just now? Let us say that
your children finish an assigned task. Your children know that they
have successfully finished that task with a tangible result as the
final outcome. Now, they should also know the process or method that
helped them to reach the goal. When you child consciously recalls
these bits of information, they will instantly learn all those steps
and processes involved in the entire process.
How did you think about the task and describe the process. You may
need to ask these questions to extract the plans or strategies that
you children used before finishing the task. Strategies and methods
are very important solving any type of complex problems.
The next important questions focuses on the valuation part of the
thinking. Your children must be able to evaluate the results or
outcome derived from the task. They should be able to think on how
they can improvise on their strategies and methods so that they can
achieve better results next time.
Metacognition also involves probing your children's mind to bring
out the trait of self evaluation and assessment.
Questions that help your children assess the awareness of learning
What did you learn?
What did you find out?
How did you learn?
Did you find anything very difficult?
Did you find anything very easy?
How did you do this task?
What did you learn from your work?
Questions that help your children assess the awareness of attitudes
and feelings are:
What did you like from that task?
Do you like doing this work? Why?
What do you feel so good about this task?
What did you feel not so good about this task?
Questions that help your children assess the awareness of setting
In what way you can do better?
What better steps you need to achieve better results?
What is your next goal?
What will help you in achieving your next target?
Get your children into learning mode. Cajole them to start learning
their immediate tasks.
Talk more about what they need to do for finishing the task.
Listen carefully to their ideas and thoughts.
Ask them how they are going to work on the assignment. Let them
write down those steps or methods.
Let them work on the task. Do not disturb them. If they have any
doubts or problems, you can provide those clues that help them to
finish the pending tasks.
Once finished, evaluate their work and ask them self assess their
efforts. Nudge them to assess their own work and make notes on them.
Now, ask your children probing questions involving learning,
attitudes, feelings and setting goals as described above.
Once you collect all the inputs, you can pool them together to guide
your children to improve their intellect, attitude and learning.
Some typical examples of tasks that provide both cognitive and
meta-cognitive challenges are:
Providing puzzling tasks that offer more than one solution or
provide a multitude of solutions.
Tasks that include cognitive conflicts such as debates and
Letting children make groups among themselves and having each one of
them to teach other members of the team. This type of teaching is
called reciprocal teaching.