Clinical Interviews to Promote Metacognition: Design, perform, and evaluate clinical interviews of students solving problems around big ideas in the geosciences

Developed by: Sister Gertrude Hennessey
Demet Kirbulut
Christy Briles
Ron Narode
Erin Peters
Sandra Rutherford
Jason McGraw
Developed at the 2008 workshop, The Role of Metacognition in Teaching Geoscience.

For population: Secondary and Elementary Teachers

Description of the tactic:
The pre-service teachers identify a concept (like the water cycle) that they want to investigate. Then they need to come up with questions that will initiate an investigation of student's thoughts about that concept. For example, filling a water glass with water and pouring it down the sink. Then asking where do you think the water came from and where do you think the water goes.

The pre-service teachers will record their interview with the student subject. They do not take notes, they do not teach, they strictly tape it and listen to the student. The pre-service teacher does probe with additional questions until they fully understand how the student thought about that concept.

Then the pre-service teachers present their study of 2 interviews to the entire class of pre-service teachers.

How and why this tactic is particularly useful for the given population:
A challenge for teachers is that they are focused on the delivery of school knowledge. So this tactic is particularly useful because it:

1. moves the pre-service teachers to consider the big ideas in the content area
2. has the pre-service teachers come up with questions that are rooted in the student's experiences in the world that get at those concepts
3. to prompt the pre-service teachers to actually listen to their students' voice.
4. allows the pre-service teachers to watch the students metacognition occurring in real time.
See more examples of strategies for teaching metacognition