As promised, I am moving away from my social media and technology rant (for now.) I recently read an article about metacognition and academic performance. When a student asks how to improve her grade or perform well on a test, our first suggestion is usually, “study more.” The better advice, according to the Stanford research cited in the piece, is “study smarter.”
What is metacognition? The Vanderbilt Center for Teaching and Learning defines metacognition as simply “thinking about thinking.” So, if we want students to improve performance we need to be strategic. The lead researcher of the Stanford study, Patricia Chen, commented, “Blind effort alone, without directing that effort in an effective manner, doesn’t always get you to where you want to go,”
How can you help your child study smarter? If your child has a test or project coming up, have a ten or fifteen
minute, pre-studying planning session. Ask questions to get your child thinking about studying.
“What questions do you think the teacher will ask?” (from the article)
“What resources and materials do you need to prepare?” (from the article)
Where is a good place to study? (my suggestion)
What areas do you need to review the most? (my suggestion)
When I was young, my dad had a poster in his office of a child struggling to build a dog house. The structure was falling apart and materials where everywhere. The tagline: plan your work and then work you plan.
Sounds like the 80s version of metacognition to me.