22 February 2016

Thinking about Thinking

How we think is the essence of learning. The school's graphic for our "Thinking" value has four cogs because thinking is 

  1. creative, 
  2. critical, 
  3. reflective and 
  4. metacognitive. 

To develop a thinking culture it is important that thinking is 

  • on-going, visible and audible in our learning spaces. We model this as adults in our well established culture of asking the 'why'.
  • the culture allows for transparency which allows for reflective thinking that is open and honest. 
  • the process of learning is a focus for each of our learners which leads to increased self awareness. 

How do we model thinking especially metacognition? Metacognition monitors, evaluates, and regulates our thinking.  It is important that children learn that they can analyse their thinking techniques they are using. Do they know that they can the strategies being used suit the learner? I wonder if this is key to developing "agency" and truly "self-regulating" learners? 

Modelling metacognition out loud can also help children to understand how to monitor the clarity and accuracy of their knowledge and thinking. Modelling is key and takes time out of the learning experiences. 

The way we learn information is determined by the processes that we put in place if you are analysing our thought process helps us to achieve a higher level of mastery. 

Teaching information/ learning to others helps reinforce and consolidate learning. This reinforces the concept of Tuakana/ Teina. 

I believe that there is a need to slow down the learning experiences to help children to use metacognition. This naturally leads itself into 'reflection' and paves the way for children to set their learning goals and to monitor their own progress towards meeting those goals. 

As we begin down the path of "Communicating Learning", I believe we need to ensure that we are giving thinking the time and coaching that it requires to help us develop our culture of learning. This takes time and we need to ensure that all stakeholders know and value the time that is needed to talk about learning.