Happy Learners - Metacognition

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Metacognition is understanding how we learn.

Stephen Norwood:
I describe the role of a teacher as someone who helps children to learn and an inclusive teacher as being someone who helps all children to learn. As not all children learn the same way, the inclusive teacher needs to be able to recognise and respect individual learning differences. Support and interventions are, therefore, only truly inclusive when they are matched to each child's learning strengths and weaknesses. The inclusive teacher must strive for a personalised learning experience for each child. I say strive because ultimately it is an almost impossible task, given the scope and complexity of delivering a trully personalised learning curriculum for everyone. However, one approach that is wholly personalised is to teach children and students metacognition. This is the self-awareness of their own preferred approach to learning and being able to develop strategies to work round learning weaknesses. Too often is it assumed that older children and students know how they learn best. This is rarely the case unless specifically and explicitly taught. Every lesson is an opportunity for every teacher to help children develop metacognition. For children with developmental and learning disorders additional interventions are required to develop their awareness of their learning abilities and learning and memory skills.

Key Questions

Do students know how they learn? What makes learning easier or harder? What strategies do they know to use when trying to learn? What explicit teaching of study skills do they receive and how often?

You may also be interested in the following pages:

Metacognition Resources

Task Management

Working Memory