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April 2, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

How do you teach metacognition–particularly in the context of debate

1. introduce the concepts–ask students what they think–how they can use it–explain how you think it can be used.

2. Thinking outloud

3. Modeling

4. Having a pratice debate….with reflections and observations by the students (and by the participants)

5. Monitoring & adapting as habits of mind (from CMU teaching).

6. Self-monitoring wrapper (from CMU teaching). It explains the concept I believe–start lecturing by talking about active listening. Self-reflection & journaling. The self-monitoring wrapper applied 3 times seemed to work in the study reported by CMU–faded across time.

7. Can measure with pre & post surveys….as well as self-reflection & journaling.

More general teaching strategies at the CMU Teaching website.



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  1. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 2 2012 2:49 am

    I got about 10 minutes into this & it gave out–I should try later:

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 2 2012 3:40 am

    Control our own thoughts…Problem solving is part.
    No script no recipe. What resources? What do you do?

    Heuristics. Not guaranteed….likely to move us toward our goal:
    General heuristics.
    Domain specific heuristics

    • Ends-Means Analysis (reduce the distance–closer to end state–move forward–take the next step)
    • Working backwards (novices) (ie president–just prior…..and time management–i have 4 hours)
    • Working forwards (experts) (efficient pattern matching….familiar patterns)
    • Breakdown big problem into smaller problem (or subgoals or milestones).
    • Draw a picture
    • Polya Heuristic for Math Problem Solving (tricks, rules of thumb)–related problem, break it down, draw a picture to see it different way
    • Domain specific used by experts
    • Separate relevant & irrelevant info
    • Find the unknown–whats missing here?
    • For good writing–not a recipe (what you know……lots of experience, background knowledge, insights) apply a filter/metaphor to the conventional. save words.

    Emotional–develop attitudes. Doesn’t know what to do next….is that a bad thing?
    Problem solving & the culture of schooling

    Purpose: what problems are worth solving?
    Accountant–error free is important. Complex social problem (environment & econ). They aren’t error free–they are problem solving.

    Think of what you want to achieve as im
    I want to do…..I want to be….(its a problem solving activity)

    “We’re problem-solvers…engage the world for things that matter.”

    Problem finding is an important (whats worthwhile, whats worthy of sustained effort given scarcity)

    Critical thinking (terms & sharpen & clarify….and develop ideas about how to teach them)
    Testing the quality of ideas. (ie a continuum)–judging ideas. sorta like a restaurant critic. do they make sense?
    Two criteria: Coherence and correspondence. (the ideas hold together & correspond to data–mapping to other data sources)
    There is a filter up…because your….does this make sense? does this connect up/link up? does this fit? available data? logic?

    1. Constructivist
    2. Socratic method/Descarte
    3. Good thinkers calibrate the quality of their knowledge–what they hear from others…and their own thinking (BOTH) (ie highly confident, somewhat confident, or what–pegging ideas along a spectrum of confidence). The fact/opinion dicotomy doesn’t work….its more like a continuum.

    Understand? Gaps? Not 100% sure?

    Good critical thinking….high confidence…and not as sure about them. (the distinction….reflecting humility. keeps us open and moving forward)
    Humility–that students know something in some domain–can be very exciting.

    Most of the above is borrowed liberally from M. Martinez

    N.K. Constant use of -ing, if- then, hypothetical, and imagine

    N.K. Thinking like a………….. Or modeling the thinking of…….

    N.k. Constructivism implies freedom & diversity & flexibility (even creation)–its exciting…

  3. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 2 2012 5:01 am

    I’m curious about the idea of chunking….

  4. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 2 2012 5:25 am

    Here is another interesting concept:

    Nice explanation of the theories:

  5. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 2 2012 5:31 am

    There are 3 types of thought which are not mutually exclusive:
    1. overlapping
    2. totally not overlapping
    3. defining (thesaurus)

    Anytime prioritization, ranking, or scarcity is involved, however can create conflict.

    Its also possible–I think for other factors to converge to make non-mutually exclusive issues experience more tension.


  1. My best policy debate and cross examination debate posts | Learn Policy Debate

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