Teaching Metacognition Essay

Submitted By jovk97
Words: 576
Pages: 3

As a faculty member at a community college I encounter a wide diversity of students' life experiences, academic expectations, and personal goals of the students enrolled in my geoscience courses. I have had students in a single class who range in age from 17 to 65, and in academic preparation may be extremely competent and motivated to very underprepared and lacking an understanding as to how to be an effective learner. Over the last 10 years, I see more and more students arrive underprepared to be successful in post-secondary academics, a trend that is supported by recent studies (Kozeracki & Brooks, 2006; U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Knowing that fewer than 1% of these students will go on to become geology majors, it is important for me to help my students be successful, no matter their major or academic goals. Educational research supports that in order for students to learn most effectively, students must be able to compare their understanding to what they already know, fit the concepts they learn to a big picture and reflect on their learning (NRC (National Resource Council), 2005; Weinstein, Meyer, Husman, Van Mater, & McKeachie, 2006). Recent research indicates that many students lack the skills needed to be successful in the workforce, including critical thinking and self-monitoring skills (Partnership for the 21st Century Skills, 2006).

During the past 5 years, I have worked to integrate these components with the geoscience content I teach. Most recently, I have worked to integrate situated metacognition into my course content. Situated metacognition (integrated metacognition in the context of the content area) is a way to combine key learning skills within a specific course. This integration provided students with the opportunity for changes in their thinking that can lead to conceptual changes over time (Blank, 2000; Georghiades, 2004; White & Gunstone, 1989). Specifically, I have looked to see if I can increase student understanding of the nature of science, especially as it pertains to the process of geosciences, with the integration of situated metacognitive prompts throughout the course content. In order to do this effectively, I teach my class as a scientific classroom discourse community (Yerrick & Roth, 2005). This means that I teach my class from an…