How to Teach Intelligence - The Power of Metacognition

Breanna

December 04, 2015

We recently sent an email to our clients titled "How to teach intelligence" and it received a fantastic response, so we decided that we would share it on our blog for the world wide web to see! The piece discusses ways in which to introduce your child (or student) to the principle of metacognition.

How to teach intelligence - The Power of Metacognition

One of the most powerful tools available to educators is the principle of metacognition - thinking about thinking, knowing "what we know" and "what we don't know".

Students who are able to assess their own learning and understand how they learn best, do far better than their peers. The good news for teachers, tutors and students is that metacognition can be learned.

Tutorfair Metacognition

So how can you help?
Ask questions! Questions spark imagination, conjure emotions and create more questions. You can help your child open up their mind to free thought, bringing about innovation and better understanding.

Help your child build a picture of how they learn. Ask them questions about their homework, books they are reading, current affairs and day-to-day situations:

Approaching a problem
What issues or problems do you see here?
What do you think about what was said?
How would you agree or disagree with this?

Self-reflection and how does the student come to a decision?
How might you convince me that your way is the best way?
Why didn't you consider a different route to this particular problem?
Why does your answer make sense to you?
If you were [friend's name], how would the situation be different?

Making connections - how do problems/situations relate to others?
How does this relate to daily life?
Which problems seem familiar? Why?
Did any of the characters or events remind you of yourself? Why?

Thinking about how others think
Why do you think that character/your friend behaved like that?
What if this story was written from another character's perspective?

The aim of teaching metacognition is to help students think more about how they learn (which won't happen overnight!), it helps to focus their attention, derive meaning and make adjustments if something were to go wrong. Learning metacognition will have a positive long-term effect on their education and the rest of their lives!