Nina's Notes

for Effective Teaching and Meaningful Learning

Meta-Cognitive Tools

Meta-cognitive tools



Very simply put, meta-cognitive tools help us understand and regulate our own learning.


Teachable meta-cognitive tools enable us to concentrate on planning for learning, reflect upon the learning process as it is taking place, monitor of our own production or comprehension, and evaluate our own learning after an activity is completed.


As a result of teaching meta-cognitive strategies, it is possible for students to learn directed attention, selective attention, self-management, self-monitoring, organizing and self-evaluation, on their personal and developmental level, of course. Fancy words, right? But it is fairly easy to make all that happen, when the teacher is knowledgeable about the ideas behind the fancy words. I'd like to share with you some tools that raise the students' awareness of their own learning and will start the process of becoming more autonomous learners.


Most students have an unrealistic image of themselves. They gather information about themselves from parents, peers, teachers and life events, that all work like a mirrors for developing minds. How the information is put together is quite complex, and in most cases there are misunderstandings and misinterpretations that twist the image away from the realistic one.


Help your students towards a realistic self-image, by giving them as much feedback as possible. Informal and qualitative continuing evaluation is a great tool. Rubrics can be used in almost anything, and they can bring new understanding about learning for the whole class, as well as an individual student. And, the very best outcome: this places the responsibility of learning where it belongs, to the student.  


More about Meta-Cognitive tools in the book:

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