Metacognition is something that has always come very easy to me. I am naturally a very introverted person that likes to spend a lot of time inside my head thinking about my thinking. I have realized throughout the years that this isn’t a quality that everyone possesses. It may seem like a simple idea to most, but not everyone executes it successfully. Metacognition is important because it allows the learner to self-regulate and evaluate their learning progress. Jennifer Livingston does a good job of defining the term on her webpage: http://gse.buffalo.edu/fas/shuell/cep564/metacog.htm. Livingston states, “Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature.”
While I completing my undergraduate degree in Secondary Education, I took an educational psychology class. In this course taught by Professor Randy Isaacson, (http://mypage.iusb.edu/~risaacso/ed_psych/index.htm) we learned about the importance of metacognition not only for educators but also for learners. Every week we would take tests over the course materials and were not only graded on the course materials, but also on our metacognition. After each question we could score it according to whether we thought we answered the question correctly or not. This score was then factored in our overall test score. The testing method forced us as students to think about our learning and our metacognition. This class has made me become a better learner and ultimately a better educator.
Metacognition is important for educators because it gives them the tools to create successful learners. If educators are able to pass down these skills to their student, they will prove to be life-long learners. Some strategies to help teachers to enhance these skills in their students are listed here: http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/metacogn.html provided by William Huitt at Valdosta University. Another useful page on the site addresses various study methods to help aid in self-regulated learning (http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/sq4r.html). These methods such as the SQ3R can help students to learn more efficiently. Very useful tools for educators and students alike!