Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction

How Metacognition Can Promote Academic Learning and Instruction

Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction (p. 15 – 25)


Tim Guy


            While I find the discussion regarding a useful or adequate definition of metacognition important, how this construct will assist teachers and students in of more importance.  It is very interesting that very little metacognitive dialogue takes place in the typical classroom.  I find this to be true in many of the classroom that I visit at my school.  Most of the conversations that I overhear deal with procedural matters not substantive.  I think that it is important for teachers to engage students in the types of conversations that helps students gain a clearer insight into the instructional task and objectives to achieve the desired goal.

            Students also must take control of their learning.  No longer is it allowed for students to be passive receivers of knowledge.  Students must take new knowledge and work it into their present schema to develop meaning and then act on that new knowledge.  I have observed too many “Charlie’s” in classrooms and I am bothered by those behaviors.  Motivation is a critical piece.  Students need to provide some intrinsic motivators, but teachers and classmates can also provide extrinsic reinforcement to help the “Charlie’s” is all of classrooms are successful.