The Role of Metacognition in Teaching Geoscience

November 19-21, 2008 at Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Note: this workshop has already taken place. Workshop presentations and summaries of discussions are available on the program page; participants' posters, essays, and submitted activities are available via the participants page.

Metacognition, one's knowledge of one's own cognitive processes, is known to play a critical role in learning and the development of expertise (see, for example, How People Learn ). However, strategies for teaching metacognition are not yet widely developed or discussed in the geosciences. How do we help students become aware of their own thinking and learning to monitor their own learning strategies? What metacognitive skills are particularly important in developing geoscience expertise? How can these skills be effectively taught?

Join us for a workshop focused on enhancing the teaching of geoscience by incorporating metacognition in the learning process. This workshop will bring together geoscience faculty, cognitive scientists studying metacognition, and faculty from other STEM disciplines who have been particularly effective in teaching metacognition, to explore both the role of metacognition in geoscience learning and mechanisms for better teaching this metacognition. Participants will examine the role of metacognition in geoscience learning, share exemplary classroom, laboratory, and field activities, explore strategies for integrating metacognition into courses, and address issues in teaching and learning geoscience that may benefit from making students aware of their cognitive processes. Participants will help to develop an online collection of resources and teaching materials related to the role of metacognition in teaching geoscience.


Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
Jenefer Husman, Psychology in Education, Arizona State University
Kaatje Kraft, Physical Science Department, Mesa Community College
Dave Mogk, Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University
Karl Wirth, Geology Department & Center for Scholarship and Teaching, Macalester College

This workshop is part of the On the Cutting Edge professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty, sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers with funding provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation-Division of Undergraduate Education .

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