Beyond Cognition: Why is ‘Thinking About Thinking’ Important?
- September 6, 2017
- Posted by: Yorktown Education Team
- Category: Student-Centered Learning
If cognition is the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding what we learn, then what is metacognition? Simply put, it refers to the process of ‘thinking about thinking’ and being aware of our own awareness. It relates to higher-order thinking skills.
While teachers bring what they know to the classroom along with how they will share that knowledge with their students, they must also consider what their students already know and how they learned it. Teachers are also faced with the challenge of creating engaging content that will inspire students to want to learn even more, and, of course, create an inclusive environment in which everyone can learn at their own pace.
One way Yorktown Education continues to achieve this is through the collaborative process of peer mentoring and instruction. It’s in sync with the flipped classroom concept and the diminishing of lecture teaching. Peer instruction and mentoring shifts the balance to students, requiring ‘thinking about thinking’ in order to succeed in the process of problem solving.
Traditional teaching methods tend to serve up what is considered most relevant, then let the student consume the bits the teacher selects rather than what interests the student. Providing too many of the answers has proven less than successful; whereas tossing the question back to the students gives them the chance to put critical-level thinking skills to work.
When all is said and done, no one is responsible for our learning but ourselves. This means if students have, over many years of traditional education, internalized the concept that all the answers are supposed to come from the teacher, they are not using their thinking skills to advantage.
The Yorktown Education philosophy supports what students love most about learning – what they love to do. Our teachers challenge students to think for themselves and find answers on their own. We believe that guiding students to appreciate the value of breaking down a problem, understanding it, then building on it to find the answers will strengthen their cognitive skills and guide them to greater accomplishment.