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What are the components of metacognition?

Metacognition is broken down into three components: metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experience, and metacognitive strategies.

Metacognitive knowledge includes:

  • One’s learning process and beliefs on learning.
  • One’s approach to learning and the manner they process information in.
  • The strategies one develops and when one will use them. 

The metacognitive experience consists of the emotions that you go through as you are learning and striving towards your goal. These emotions will act as feedback connecting past information. And new information to provide a distinct experience that would enhance your comprehension.

And finally, Metacognitive strategies are what we are going to deeply discuss today. They are designed to monitor your progress related to your learning and the tasks at hand. It is a mechanism for controlling your thinking activities and to ensure you are meeting your goals.

Metacognition strategies 

We have discussed what metacognition is, how it works and its importance. But now we are going to examine its strategies and how each one affects our lives.

Before you implement metacognition strategies you need to identify which strategy works best for you. The reason why metacognition is such a broad subject is because we each have different personalities and learn things differently. For example a strategy that might work for me, might not work for you. Therefore, you need to test run metacognition strategies before you find the one right for you. 

State the learning problem with some specificity. Identify what you want to know and what you want to do with that knowledge

The first strategy is concept mapping or more known to us as mind mapping. Mind mapping will simplify the task at hand by breaking it down into several aspects that your mind can comprehend. By scribbling your thoughts on a piece of paper in an organized and categorized way you are learning to be more thoughtful about your brainstorming process

The second metacognitive strategy is reflection. Start making self-reflection a vital part of any task you perform by using metacognitive activities. For example, you can ask yourself to identify the top 3 essential lessons or points after a presentation or learning activity. After this take these 3 ideas that you’ve learned and reflect upon them by questioning your understanding towards them and analyzing them.

Goal orientation, one of the most effective metacognitive strategies is goal orientation. This strategy however simple will make a big difference in your life. This can be used on a day to day basis or when focusing on one task. This strategy can be used in a multitude of ways and here is how you are going to apply it:

  • On the first day of the year I’m going to need you to jot down your goals for that year. Your goals could be as simple as a few words or very detailed. It doesn’t matter as long as you have something you are going to work towards.
  • On the first day of every month do the same thing and write down your goals of the month.
  • On the first day of every week repeat the process and scribble your goals for the week.
  • And finally every morning, write down your goals for the day.

Don’t overwork yourself. Write down goals that are realistic and that you are able to achieve. Because if you overdo if you are going to end up throwing away that piece of paper. And feeling down because you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Which brings us to our next idea, it is okay if you do not complete all your goals! We are human, things don’t go as planned sometimes. Circumstances changed this is why I asked you to write down your goals for every year, month, week and day. Because sometimes we have bad days and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that tomorrow is going to be a completely new day where I can still accomplish these goals,

Think Aloud. learn how to think aloud and speak your thoughts while performing a difficult task. A knowledgeable partner can then point out errors in thinking or you can use this approach for increased self-awareness during learning. 

Self-explanation. Self-explanation in writing or speaking can help you improve their comprehension of a difficult subject.

Provide Opportunities for Making Errors. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Mistakes are the only way you are going to figure out what you are doing wrong. Mistakes will act as a template for comparison.

“Self reflection is the school of wisdom”- Baltasar Gracian 

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