Thursday, May 1, 2014

Metacognition, Intelligence, PBL, and you

flickr photo courtesy of Temari 09
     The concept of metacognition can be a difficult practice to evaluate from a instructional technology perspective.  I started on this journey, oddly, thinking about the process of thinking.  I asked myself how exactly the process of metacognition relates to instructional technology.  I must say, after a fair bit of thought, I arrived at a rather universal conclusion that even encapsulates Project Based Learning.  Here goes nothing!
     I like to think about Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences".  Now, there are number of books to buy on here is the search list.  However, the crux of matter is a crucial one; people do not all learn in the same way, but rather we learn in a variety of ways.  So, from the perspective of a future educator, it is important to be metacognitive in the sense that I have to think about my students' thoughts and the processes by which they might learn.  Specifically, I should use the principles of Universal Design for Learning, so that I follow a "one size fits one" model, instead of a "one size fits all" model.  There are many resources out there for UDL, and here are just a few links:

National Center on UDL

     Now also, in a Project Based Learning sense, we want collaborators that exhibit strength in metacognition.  These would be group members that know how they think, know how they learn, and know what to look for in evaluating data and fulfilling any role within a collaborative setting.  Group members that can function metacognitively are sure to add greater depth, meaning, and input to any PBL activity!
     Ultimately, thinking about our thought processes can enable us to be more creative and more evaluative - both of which are Higher Order Thinking Skills on the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy.  In essence, the metacognitive process is key to student-directed learning.  Interestingly, the principles we learn in instructional technology are also key to student-directed learning.  We must embrace these commonalities and use our technology to enhance the metacognitive process.