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Developing metacognition

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Daniel Muijs, Head of Research at Ofsted, discusses the concept of metacognition and how it can be developed in pupils.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit

Developing metacognition

  1. 1. Developing metacognition Daniel Muijs Head of Research Ofsted @ProfDanielMuijs Developing metacognition Slide 1
  2. 2. Introduction  Self-regulation and metacognition are among the most downloaded elements of the EEF toolkit  Increasing interest, and yet:  a lot of interventions don’t show any effects (Muijs et al, forthcoming)  a lot of schools implement it poorly (Dignath & Buttner, 2017, De Smul et al, 2017; Muijs et al, forthcoming)  So our question is: why is this the case, and what can we do about it? Developing metacognition Slide 2
  3. 3. What is metacognition?  You tell me… Developing metacognition Slide 3
  4. 4. What is metacognition?  Part of self-regulated learning  The extent to which learners are aware of:  their strengths and weaknesses  the strategies they use to learn  how they can motivate themselves to engage in learning, and  how they can develop strategies and tactics to enhance learning. Developing metacognition Slide 4
  5. 5. What is metacognition? Cognition Metacognition Motivation/affect Developing metacognition Slide 5
  6. 6. Cognition  Information gathering  Memorisation  Understanding  Applying Developing metacognition Slide 6
  7. 7. What is metacognition?  Knowledge of cognition: −knowledge about yourself as a learner −knowledge about strategies and procedures, such as reviewing interleaving and selecting main ideas −knowledge of why and when to use a particular strategy.  Regulation of cognition:  planning e.g. activating relevant prior knowledge, selecting appropriate strategies, and the allocation of resources.  monitoring e.g. self-testing  evaluation Developing metacognition Slide 7
  8. 8. What is metacognition? Developing metacognition Slide 8
  9. 9. One reason for poor implementation  It is a complex construct  Often poorly understood by teachers (Dignath & Buttner, 2017)  So we need to build understanding, but this takes time! And effort. Developing metacognition Slide 9
  10. 10. So how do we develop metacognition in pupils?  What do you think? Developing metacognition Slide 10
  11. 11. So how do we develop metacognition in pupils?  A lot of misconceptions:  it’s all about inquiry  we need separate lessons  it’s all about ‘higher order’ thinking and problem-solving  a generic skill divorced from knowledge Developing metacognition Slide 11
  12. 12. What research actually shows (Muijs et al, forthcoming)  Metacognition can be applied to all types of learning processes  Effective teaching has two components:  explicit strategy instruction and modelling by the teacher  guided practice and application by the pupil  Embedded in subject teaching  Built on strong subject knowledge  So a second issue for implementation and professional development is combatting misconceptions! Developing metacognition Slide 12
  13. 13. Explicit strategy instruction  This does not happen automatically  Three key elements:  cognitive strategies, e.g. rehearsal, reviewing, retrieval practice and spacing  metacognitive strategies, e.g. planning, deciding which strategies to use, monitoring, adapting  social-emotional strategies, e.g. regulating motivation and relations with others, such as delay of gratification Developing metacognition Slide 13
  14. 14. Implicit modelling and guided inquiry  To gain mastery, indirect methods need to follow direct approaches  modelling  guided inquiry  dialogue and discussion  Teacher role in scaffolding is important Developing metacognition Slide 14
  15. 15. Explicit instruction as part of an integrated approach  An example: −activating prior knowledge −explicit strategy instruction −modelling of learnt strategy −memorisation of strategy −guided practice −independent practice Developing metacognition Slide 15
  16. 16. What does this mean for CPD?  Need theory element to develop understanding of the concept  Need to work on misconceptions Developing metacognition Slide 16
  17. 17. Implementing metacognition  Evidence from EEF programmes on metacognition:  extensive support for teachers, embedding takes time  ongoing monitoring and support  not one-off training but ongoing development  good resources  support from leadership  But: too much intensity can lead to withdrawal and attrition Developing metacognition Slide 17
  18. 18. Implementing metacognition  Teacher professional development key:  sufficient time needs to be devoted to CPD, preferably at least two terms  activities need to be iterative and build on how well approaches are working in the classroom  CPD needs to build on teachers’ starting points and explore, but, where necessary, challenge existing beliefs and practices  CPD needs to focus firmly on pupil learning  internal input is helpful as it can challenge existing beliefs more easily  external and internal facilitators need both subject expertise and expertise on CPD delivery  peer support is useful to encourage reflection and risk taking  metacognition and SRL are important parts of CPD (Cordingley et al, 2015) Developing metacognition Slide 18
  19. 19. What would this look like in your school? Developing metacognition Slide 19
  20. 20. Conclusion  Metacognition is a promising strategy  But complex, so often poorly understood and implemented  need to understand theory  need to combat misperceptions  Successful implementation requires CPD strategy Developing metacognition Slide 20
  21. 21. Ofsted on the web and on social media www.gov.uk/ofsted https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk www.linkedin.com/company/ofsted www.youtube.com/ofstednews www.slideshare.net/ofstednews www.twitter.com/ofstednews Developing metacognition Slide 21

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