Metacognition & Thinking School Development
Metacognition and self-regulation approaches to teaching support pupils to think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning.
Interventions are usually designed to give pupils a repertoire of strategies to choose from and the skills to select the most suitable strategy for a given learning task.
Self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:
- cognition – the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning
- metacognition – often defined as ‘learning to learn’; and
- motivation – willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills.
We are currently working towards a Thinking School Accreditation . We are working hard to embed a whole school approach resulting in a common language and framework which enable children to talk explicitly about thinking and to understand there are different kinds of thinking. We have introduced eight thinking maps which are used to help children organise their thinking, whether it be in story planning, classifying and sorting information, understanding relationships or considering cause and effect. The next stage is to introduce the 16 habits of mind which develop the skills and attitudes necessary for life-long learning. Children are encouraged to reflect on their learning, identifying their thinking strengths and areas for improvement, setting themselves goals and celebrating their successes. We are loving becoming a Thinking School!
How do we do this?
- Explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies
- Teachers modelling their own thinking to demonstrate metacognitive strategies
- Opportunities for pupils to reflect on and monitor their strengths and areas of improvement, and plan how to overcome current difficulties.
- Providing enough challenge for learners to develop effective strategies, but not so difficult that they struggle to apply a strategy