Metacognitive Approach in Teaching

The prefix “meta” means beyond. Therefore, a metacognitive approach is an approach that goes beyond cognition. It is an approach that makes our students think about their thinking. It has something to do with our students monitoring their own cognitive processes as they are engaged in their cognitive tasks.

An example is making our students conscious of their thought processes while they are thinking. It is allowing our students to think aloud.

Research indicates that “effective problem-solvers subvocalize; that is they talk to themselves frequently.” (Orlich, 1994) Subvocalizing includes constantly re-stating the situation, rechecking progress, and evaluating whether one’s thinking is moving in an appropriate discussion.

Another example is to have our students describe what is going on in their minds. Orlich, et al suggest “dividing the class into pairs for five to eight minutes several times a week would provide them the necessary initial practice to overcome awkwardness with the method.” (1994).

Still another approach is to have our students identify what is known in a situation or problem. From this, they can suggest what needs to be known and finally what. steps are required to obtain the information. For example; we raise the question: How polluted is the air in Metro Manila? Initial student responses are written on the board and constitute what is known. In small groups, students can generate what else should be known and how to obtain the needed information to give possible answers.