Archive for December, 2010

I went through some personal issues and kind of lost my focus, but I plan on getting back into blogging. Here is my latest article that I wrote for examiner. com about the importance of having students think metacognively. Check out my other examiner articles here. If you know of a story that should be covered that has anything to do with education in Baltimore, email me at random_at_best@yahoo.com

Enjoy.

Metacognition is β€œthe process of thinking about thinking.” In other words, when students perform tasks such as finding a main idea or solving a math problem, they are using a thinking process. When they go back and consider how that thinking process worked or did not work for them, they are practicing metacognition.Students who do not use metacognitive strategies will continue to get the same, negative results because they will not create a plan to go about the task differently.

Some underperforming Baltimore schools award grades based on attendance and behavior. Students are able to submit consistently poor-quality work and receive passing grades. Educators who award undeserved grades to students condition them that the quality of work is not of high importance. Students have no need to utilize metacognitive strategies, and this lack of practice hurts them later in life.

Many students entering college will be disappointed to find out that they are required to take developmental, non-credit reading, writing, and math courses. Some students will have extreme difficulty in completing even the remedial courses because they will not know how to turn unsatisfactory work into satisfactory work without support. Even after receiving poor grades throughout the semester, some students will still be confused because in their mind, they completed all tasks that were asked of them. They may even believe that they completed all tasks to the best of their ability. Instructors may perceive these students as lazy, when in reality, they may not have previously developed metacognitive skills, such as tweeking strategies in order to receive different results.

Students need to be held responsible for the quality of their work if they are to become successful adults who are equipped to compete in today’s job market. They need to be taught to adjust their goals to better meet their needs, and they need to be taught to make others aware when they are confused.

Every once in a while, a college freshman will miss the first two or more weeks of a semester. When they do show up, they will sit in the class and never take any initiative to explain their late arrival to the educator. These students are setting themselves up for failure, and it is the responsibility of the K-12 teachers to equip students with strategies so that they can think about their thinking and can express their needs verbally and in written form.