Metacognition and Reflective Practice

Well, I so seldom do things right, that this is really a treat for me. Apparently, I have been doing things ok and not necessarily knowing it. The unknown author begins by letting us know that metacognition is “thinking about one’s own thinking” and frankly, I have been thinking about my own thinking processes all my life. Mostly, my thoughts are doubts about my process, in general. That is, so much of what I feel is absolute bare logic seems to meet the world somewhere between “you gotta be kidding me” and “that’s not how things work.”

All this relates to information literacy being characterized as metacognition, in that the info seekers are required to think about their search and evaluation skills—and how to use them. Cool. So all this reflecting I have been doing upon my inadequacies has served a purpose, and maybe my questioning not only of students but of myself has been functional and fits this model of getting feedback from learners and teacher-learners (including yourself) at the same time. That is, the evaluative voice in my head never shuts up. Before I run around in any more circles, let me move on.

The horror always is that the learners are not getting what they need, and the two-part reflection about what worked and what did not work make perfect sense. The third part of this reflection, I think, should be modified to “did the learners achieve their goals?” Not to quibble. And yes, never throw anything away, are you crazy? Just re-name and date your files so you can trace not only evolution but get back to something that you will not be able to re-do in time, when next appropriate.

And, I always start with questions. I want to get folks involved and the fastest way to do that is ask questions, right off the bat. Nobody gets to sit back and hover under the radar.  [My tip for the week: folks who do speak up in class quite often do so hesitantly.  If the instructor says, out loud, “I don’t hear well, so please speak up,” students will be encouraged to actually sing out, and then the instructor is not caught editing or paraphrasing student input.  This is a real plus, in my opinion.]

We gots lots to do. Get involved. Contribute. Give me feedback. Allow me to assist. Ask me your questions; when you trip me up, make me think, make me explain, I am learning something, and I thank you.

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