Metacognitive skills are an essential part of executive functioning. They are not only important for students and teachers, they are vital for everyday life. Metacognitive knowledge has been a critical subject to teach in primary and secondary schools because of how important it is to have these skills in adult life and in the professional realm. Some people understand these skills much earlier than others, but it’s not a bad thing if you’re a bit of a late bloomer; everyone learns at their own pace. Read more to learn more about a few metacognition strategies and metacognitive skills.
Metacognitive Skills: What is Metacognition?
In order to understand what metacognitive skills are, we first need to define what metacognition is. Metacognition is the awareness of one’s thinking and learning. We essentially think about the way we think. When we practice metacognitive thinking, we understand the processes behind the way we think and learn. These practices help students recognize their strengths and weaknesses to eventually come up with metacognitive strategies to improve their learning. Even when we think outside of the learning environment, there are people who struggle with remembering people’s faces or names. When we are aware that we’re not particularly good at remembering faces and names, we are practicing metacognitive thinking. Metacognitive skills are not only important for school, but they are important for everyday life.
Metacognition in executive functioning calls for us to reflect on our thoughts and habits in order to build a structure to better organize, and hopefully, ease our minds. Practicing metacognitive skills can be challenging sometimes, so it’s best to have someone supporting your endeavors. Why do you think people form study groups and have study buddies? To help practice metacognition strategies! There is a reason why we often work better in teams. It allows others to critique us and provide us with beneficial feedback that overall helps us improve our metacognitive skills.
Building Metacognitive Skills
According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine we can apply metacognitive skills to our lives by preparing, monitoring, and assessing where we may fall short. Metacognitive thinking calls for us to think critically about our own skills and think of ways we may be able to improve our skills. It calls for us to really ask ourselves the questions of: “Am I doing good?”and “Am I noticing an improvement?” A key component of metacognitive strategies is really to be honest with yourself. Setting realistic goals is important to us here at EFC, and successful metacognitive strategies emphasize realistic expectations and analysis of your progress. Asking ourselves what we already know about the subject matter is a great start to use as a guide.
The great part about metacognitive skills is that these skills are adaptable to any situation and can be used in new tasks that we may not be familiar with. It’s important that we practice metacognitive strategies with intent; we truly need to know these strategies while we practice them. We need to ask ourselves what our end goal is. Performing reflective journaling is a great way to practice metacognitive thinking and really determine what strategies worked or not.
When practicing metacognitive skills, it’s super important that we continue to reinforce our metacognition. We already know from earlier in the reading that we need to ask ourselves a few questions to assess and monitor our progress when it comes to metacognitive thinking. It’s important to ask questions in general, especially if you’re confused. Continue asking questions until you understand the subject in order to improve your metacognitive skills.
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