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Metacognition – A Remarkable Trait That Strong Readers Share

Sep 03, 2019

It has been found that most students in the US spend an estimated 85% of their school days on assignments that require a whole lot of reading. A key difference that has been found among the students who read well and the ones who don’t is the ability to use metacognition.

So what is metacognition? It sounds so “biological,” doesn’t it? There probably is a connection somewhere I guess. What do you think? Here, have a look at the definition:

“Metacognition is an ability where an individual becomes aware of one’s awareness. In short, we can say, metacognition is “thinking about thinking,” or “cognition about cognition.”

Whoa! The definition sounds more confusing I guess.

Hence, I’ll refer to an example so that you can you can understand it in a jiffy.

Imagine a scenario where you are a reading a book. You come across a passage that seems too fictitious to be true. You ask yourself, “ Did it really happen?” And your inner voice screamed “Of course not genius! Use your brain.”

Now that’s what metacognition is. You are aware of the fact that you are reading a book, and you are analyzing it as well as you go further in it. So did you understand it now?


Source- Wiki

Metacognition is a trait that’s commonly shared by most strong readers. Those who haven’t picked up this skill yet find it exceptionally hard to read through the text.
Metacognitive readers enjoy reading ‘cause they find meaning in the written words. They can comprehend the underlying meaning of the text which is a brilliant trait on the whole.

Almost all students can learn to be metacognitive readers if they mix the right amount of desire with the right amount of effort. The following ways can come in handy for the same.

BEFORE READING

The pre-reading stage of reading is mighty important. The teachers have to frame certain reading assignments by modeling purpose, passion, and curiosity such that students feel motivated to read.

The task should NOT feel like a burden from the point of view of the student. If it feels like a burden, the entire purpose of the task will go down the drain.

Give your students the freedom to choose the material for reading. It doesn’t matter how they do it as long as they do.

As soon as the selection’s made, organize a class discussion based on questions like:

  • What do you think the text is about from the impression you get from the title, cover, and the illustrations?
  • What is the purpose of reading the book? What can you learn from the given topic?
  • Do you feel curious to learn about this topic? If “yes,” why?
  • Do you already know something about this topic?

Such questions can easily ignite the thirst of knowledge in the kid, which, in turn, can have a heavy hand in improving his/her metacognitive ability for good.

AT THE TIME OF READING

You, as a teacher, should encourage your students to ask the following questions to themselves to improve their metacognitive ability on the whole:

  • What are the most important elements of the text that you’re reading?
  • Who’s the primary character of the topic? Are there any supporting characters? If it’s non-fiction, then what are the primary and the supporting arguments?
  • Do you want to place a question of your own to the author?
  • If you are allowed to rewrite certain parts of the text, would you rewrite in a whole new manner or would yours be similar to the one given in the text itself?

SUMMARIZING

The ability to fully summarize the content demonstrates a good understanding of the text. The following questions can help students summarize the text:

  • What’s the most important theme of the text? 
  • What are the different why, what, who, how, when, and where of the text?
  • What’s the intent of the underlying idea?
  • And lastly, what is the underlying idea?

The skill of metacognition doesn’t just come in a single day. It requires time, patience and a whole lot of practice. But with improved effort over time, you would definitely be able to give your students a push in the right direction. With that, we’ll sign off finally for the day. Hope you had a productive read.  

Description: It has been found that most students in the US spend an estimated 85% of their school days on assignments that require a whole lot of reading. A key difference that has been found among the students who read well and the ones who don’t is the ability to use metacognition.

Summary

It has been found that most students in the US spend an estimated 85% of their school days on assignments that require a whole lot of reading. A key difference that has been found among the students who read well and the ones who don’t is the ability to use metacognition.

Article Posted in: Academics

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Singapore and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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