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The Role of Metacognition in Learning

An awareness of the learning process can improve learning dramatically (e.g. How People Learn, NRC 2000). Yet students are rarely taught how to develop this awareness. We can help our students to improve their learning by incorporating metacognition into our courses: by having them think about their thinking and by helping them to become aware of and monitor their learning strategies.


A Carleton College geology student thinking through deformation history on a trip to Baraboo, Wisconsin. Photo by Tim Vick; used with permission.

Resources for Teaching Metacognition

Workshop on the Role of Metacognition in Teaching Geoscience

A workshop on the role of metacognition in teaching geoscience was held at Carleton College, in Northfield, MN, in November, 2008. The workshop program page contains PowerPoint files, suggested teaching strategies and links to working group pages. We have videos of many of the presentations. You can also find essays about metacognition submitted by workshop participants. While the focus of this workshop was in geoscience, the information in these pages is applicable to a wide range of disciplines.

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