Metacognition

Definition – Awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process.

Metacognition is the idea of thinking about thinking. The idea that you know you think something, why you think it and the ability to change it. The concept of metacognition also relates closely to the ‘THINKERS’ part of the IB learner profile.

Metacognition describes the processes involved when learners plan, monitor, evaluate, and make changes to their own learning behaviours.

Metacognitive knowledge – Children understanding their own cognitive abilities. For example, ‘I struggle to remember people’s names. It’s also understanding that something is difficult, for example, ‘I understand that I am dealing with very complex issues. Also, the ability to understand how to remember information like breaking a phone number down into smaller parts to allow us to memorise it.

Metacognitive regulation – This relates to learners. understanding that a strategy they are using to solve a problem is not working and trying something new.

There is also a lot of information about the ages which children develop metacognitive skills. Some studies show children as young as 18 months showing metacognitive skills. It’s also important to note that just because pupils can’t describe what metacognition is doesn’t mean they don’t have the ability to use it.

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We can use the metacognition phases to help us understand the whole process.

Planning – learners think about the goal that the teacher has set out. They then think about what strategies they will use to achieve the goal set out. During this section its good for learners to ask themselves questions such as:

 ‘What am I being asked to do?’
‘Which strategies will I use?’
‘Are there any strategies that I have used before that might be useful?’

Monitoring – learners choose one strategy and monitor the progress to see if they are getting closer to the original goal. During this section learners may choose to make changes to their strategies. Questions also help during this section, for example asking themselves things like:

 ‘Is the strategy that I am using working?’
‘Do I need to try something different?’

Evaluation – phase, learners decide how successful the strategy they choose was in helping them achieve their goal. They may ask themselves questions such as:

‘How well did I do?’
‘What didn’t go well?’ ‘What could I do differently next time?’
‘What went well?’ ‘What other types of problem can I use this strategy for?’

Reflection –  is a fundamental part of the plan-monitor-evaluate process. Encouraging learners to self-question throughout the process will support this reflection.

It’s important as teachers to understand how well the pupils understand their own metacognition. David Perkins (1992) defined four levels of metacognitive learners. This is very useful for teachers to try and gauge where their pupils are at.

  1. Tacit learners– learners who are un aware of their own metacognition. When given a goal or problem they don’t think about any particular plan or strategy, they just accept if they know something or if they don’t.
  2. Aware learners– learners who understand that they can generate ideas and finding evidence but there isn’t necessarily any planning involved with their thought process.
  3. Strategic learners –learners who organise their thinking by using problem-solving, grouping and classifying, evidence-seeking and decision-making etc. They know and apply the strategies that help them learn.
  4. Reflective learners– learners who are not only strategic about their thinking, but they also reflect upon their learning while it is happening, considering the success or not of any strategies they are using and then revising them as appropriate.

Once we as teachers have identifies where our learners are at on this scale, we can work to support them better. We can also work to develop their metacognitive skills.

I think metacognition is an interesting concept and the more research I do the more I can relate it to, not just my learning in primary school but my learning now. It allows me to evaluate why I use certain strategies and think in certain ways.

 

https://cambridge-community.org.uk/professional-development/gswmeta/index.html

https://thirdspacelearning.com/blog/7-steps-eef-metacognition-primary-classroom-maths/

https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/272307-metacognition.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

IB TDT – My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is (so far) based a lot around my own learning and my school experience. I think deep down I wanted to become a teacher so that I could do for my pupils what some teachers couldn’t do for me, really engage, care and support them. Prepare them for life after school. My philosophy of teaching also matches up well with the IB learner profile, I embody a lot of these things.

As a teacher I constantly reflect on my own professional practice weather it’s on one lesson or looking at the bigger picture. Reflection is a key aspect when it comes to being able to adapt learning to suit all pupils. It also allows me to adapt my own learning to allow me to constantly grow. With each placement I will have more to reflect on which will allow me to become a better teacher. Reflection is something that needs to be a continuous process to allow us to continue to be the best teacher the pupils could have.

Balance to me means not focusing on one area, as the word suggests it’s all about finding a balance. This isn’t just with subjects but over our whole lives. Its’ important to model this balance for the pupils so they can see what it looks life. Finding a home school balance. Finding a physical and mental balance.

Part of my teaching philosophy involves risk taking because I believe without a bit of risk we would never change. For example, if a lesson isn’t working stop take a risk change it try something new. Part of risk taking is also realising that’s it’s okay if the risk doesn’t pay off, come back try something new. Risk to me promotes change which is a key aspect in teaching. It’s all about constant development.

Being caring is a huge part of my teaching philosophy, it’s not necessarily about breaking down the barrier between pupil and teacher but for the pupils to understand that you do support and care for them. Being caring is also something that’s very important to model within the school, with other colleges and parents to ensure that your pupils also become caring individuals.

Being open minded is a huge part of the whole of the IB programme and is also a big part of my learning philosophy. Walking into a classroom you never know what background and cultures the pupils will have come from and you as a teacher need to be open minded and sensitive towards this.

Principled to me and my teaching philosophy is all about knowing what you believe and modelling those values every day. For me it is about showing farness and modelling respect across my whole life and with everyone I encounter. It’s about showing what you believe in every interaction you have every day and not changing those views depending on who your speaking too or the situation.

Communication is something we have every second of every day and for me as a teacher honesty is at the centre of all communication. With honest communication comes resect which means listening to other people and trying to understand their point of view even if it is one we don’t agree with. Again, communication is something that has to be modelled to the pupils, this can be the way you communicate with them or other staff and parents. For me its ensuring that you model the behaviour you want. When I’m talking, I would like people to be respectful and empathetic and listen and I will do the same for others.

I’m still so new to IB so I’m struggling with ‘thinkers’ and how it relates to my teaching philosophy but the first thing that comes to mind is challenging why we think things. Where have these ideas come from and ensuring that we dig deep into the pupils thinking to allow them to understand and question their own ideas. To me it could also involve respecting everyone’s thoughts and ideas no matter what they are.

Inquire is an important part of a child’s education because it involves them being interested in what they are learning which in turn sparks enthusiasm and curiosity. This means that children really want to learn and become engaged in the lesson. For me an example of what his would look like in my classroom would be a science experiment, any lesson really. Start with a word, a picture. Continually question the pupils about what they think it could mean, what’s the lesson about? Get them interested and excited. This then means that they can become responsible for their own learning. Learning to take this kind of responsibility is a key skill for life which for me is a something pupils need to be able to do before leaving school.

When I think of being knowledgeable there are two quotes that come to mind, ‘you can never be overdressed or overeducated’ and ‘knowledge is power’. Knowledge is something that is key to learning but not just hard facts and tired ideas. It’s all about having knowledge that helps you better yourself, knowledge that you can actively use every. day. Its’ also to me about teaching the pupils this knowledge in a way that’s fun and interesting. This relates to my learning philosophy because it’s about understanding that everyone learns differently and understanding this is the first step to becoming successful educator.

Reflecting on life but particularly my last placement I feel my biggest strengths are my confidence. I think this is due to having some life experience before coming to university, being confident also means I have a good classroom presence. This is something that was noticed during my last placement. Although I did build on my organisational and time keeping skills, I feel like this is still an area for improvement. It’s something I will continue to build on this year and hopefully improve on it and make it one of my strengths. I need to realise that if a lesson isn’t working it’s okay to say lets’ stop, take a risk and try something new. This is something I feel will come with experience in teaching. I also want to continue to improve my knowledge of behaviour management strategies and not be afraid to try new ones, if they don’t work that it’s okay, we can try something different tomorrow.

For me it’s encouraging the pupils that’s it’s okay to fail it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it or you should give up, it shows us the areas we need to work on and more importantly failure shows you’ve tried. I think as a teacher I want to be firm but fair, a good balance is key. Respect is something that will always be given to the pupils to build up trust and I will expect the same level of trust and respect back.

I’ve chosen IB because I want to be a teacher and during my time at university I want to teach as much as possible. I also feel like because I took three years out before coming to university, I’ve ‘learned from life’. IB will give me the best opportunity to do what I love, hit the ground running, as soon as I graduate.

Science Tutorials

I think all the science tutorials we have had have been really fun, I also like the way they are set out as its more like an example lesson. Overall I’ve not learned loads about how to teach science specifically but iv’e learned loads about teaching in general. I don’t know if I haven’t taken in much in terms of science because I done quite a lot of sciences in school.

We do a lot of discussion and even the way the lectures are structured for us makes them very fun and interesting. Today we were learning about forces and we had some rockets that we got to launch. the whole input was set out as if we were the pupils then after we had to give feedback as if we were the CT giving a student feedback. This was really useful as it gave us a chance to look critically at a lesson from both points of view. I enjoy the way the tutorials are as interactive as possible for example today we were using white boards to share ideas and we had rockets that we actually go to launch.

I like how closely everything we do gets related back to the E’s and O’s because that helps us understand why things are done/taught. This was helpful because he put it into the context of lesson planing. we were also given sheets that help us plan out a lesson in five minutes that we can use when teaching and build into a larger more structured lesson plan.

Pre Placement Visit

I had my pre placement visit of Tuesday and I feel like it went very well. I’m with a primary 5 class that is shared between two CT’S. My first impressions of the school were that it was really nice and almost new. I met the head teacher who was very friendly and gave me a tour of the school when I went in. Although the class is shared between two teachers I got the chance to meet both teachers and they were lovely.

The classroom was laid out nicely although I did feel a little cramped because there are 31 pupils. I could see lots of displays on the walls which gave a me a good idea about what they were working on. I could also see that they have a card system of the wall for behaviour and the CT changed it as the behaviour changed between green for good behaviour, blue next, yellow for a warning and finally red. The class doesn’t do golden time but they have other rewards systems in place. The pupils gets points for good behaviour and the number of pointed they have relate to a prize. Once the whole class gets a certain amount of points they get a movie and popcorn treat. What shocked me most about the class and how it was laid out is that there wasn’t any doors, none of the classrooms have doors. It’s all just spaces in the wall the size of about 4 doors. I think this will mean that when I’m teaching I need to make sure I’m heard without shouting but also not too loud that it affects other classes.

I went swimming with the class which I found useful because it allowed me to see them outside the classroom but they were still exceptionally well behaved.  The pupils also had the music specialist in and they learned the ukulele and I could tell they all really enjoyed that. The CT done a lot of interactive lessons with them which I liked because it kept the pupils engaged.

The CT got me to take a reading group and a maths group which is a good sign I think because she obviously thought I was somewhat competent, she didn’t just get me to sit in the corner and stay quiet. While she was teaching and the pupils were doing activities I was helping out whenever I could, answering questions and encouraging the pupils. I think its important to just get stuck in otherwise I’ll just end up being a burden on the CT.

I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be and during break and lunch I went Ito the staffroom with the CT and everyone was so welcoming and friendly. They all made me feel so at ease and I can really see myself fitting in well. The CT said to me that their wasn’t any drama between teachers or in the school which is a relief but I don’t know ho true that actually is.

Overall I’m really happy with the class. the school and both CT’s. I’m excited to get back to the class and start teaching them although I’m a little nervous but I don’t think that a ad thing.

Maths Input Reflection

We had our maths input with Tara this week and I think it was good. She spoke about the stigma surrounding maths and about peoples attitude towards maths. It was interesting to get other peoples perspective about how they felt about maths. I personally don’t mind maths although I do find it difficult I enjoy the challenge, I also like that idea that there is a right answer. In terms of teaching maths I’m not overly worried because before I do a specific lesson I will have done extra research and done lots of problems in my own time. I only have a standard grade maths qualification but I don’t feel like this will be an issue as long as I continue to work on it. I completed the NOMA to see how much maths I still remember and I got 64% which I was happy with, its not too bad but it also gives me room for improvement. I think it important to remember that I don’t need to be a maths genius to teach maths well.

I want to make sure that I engage the pupils in maths and it doesn’t seem like a chore for them. Its important that the pupils have a good attitude towards maths and for that to happen I need to have a good attitude towards maths.

Im not sure that the input offered us much advice about how to actually teach a maths lesson, it was really more about us looking at how we think and feel about maths. I think tara also wanted to get rid of some peoples anxiety surrounding maths in general. I think we will learn more about how to teach the actual subjects when we are on placement rather than in tutorials. It does feel a little like we are walking in blind to placment but I’m sure the class teacher will offer help and support. Im looking forward to the challenge.

 

Values: Racism lecture

It amazes me that racism still exists. People still treat someone differently because of the colour of their skin. The values lecture we had about racism was shocking and unsettling.

I think it’s so important that we remember the past to ensure we don’t repeat our mistakes but that also brings around the argument that we go around in circle and are fated to make the same mistakes. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us and stand up if we witness injustice happening. If we stay silent and continue to let it happen then we will make the same mistakes. I find it difficult as someone who is middle classed and white to fully understand the extent to which racism exists. That doesn’t mean that I can sit and watch it happen it’s all about action. It’s amazing how Widley accepted racism was, a campaign slogan used by the conservative party in 1964, and used by the MP Peter Griffiths, using racist language was allowed. If we look at America and back to the time when segregation was happening. Whites and blacks were given ‘equal’ rights but didn’t mix. The case of Emmett Till, an African American teenager who lived in Chicago. He went to visit family in Mississippi in 1955. He went to the shops where the shop worker accused him or whistling at her and touching her hand. That night the woman’s husband and brother grabbed Emmett out his home where they beat, mutilated and shot him before dumping him in the river. The two men got away with the murder, and we also found out that the woman in the shop had lied and Emmett did not whistle at her or touch her hand. Emmett Till became a huge part of the American civil rights movement and he is still remembered today. What I find shocking is that this only happened 73 years ago, that is no time at all. We have to continue to remember people like Emmett Till and stop racism.

Our lecture was not just about racism either, we touched on homophobia and islamophobia. We touched on all form of inequality and injustice. What was interesting was when we discussed the way homosexual people were portrayed on television in the 70’s and 80’s, this can give us some background and understanding on other views. Even some of the language used in these programmes are now things that are completely unacceptable. Language is something that is constantly changing an updating, so we need to keep up to ensure we don’t let outdated words slip through the net and become the accepted norm. With things like gay pride and the LGBTQ+ community we are slowly fighting the homophobes, but the hatred still exists. We need to continue to work against people who promote outdated and hurtful views.

Islamophobia is something that has become more and more evident in the last 20 years. A hatred towards Islam and Muslims. Some people hold the belief that Muslims are funding terrorism and are also behind all terrorist activity. This belief causes a whole population to be tarred with the same brush, which is completely unacceptable. This belief from people also brought about the idea that Muslim ladies should not be allowed to wear a hijab or a burka and in turn anyone wearing these would be branded as a terrorist. Some European countries have brought about laws forbidding women to wear scarves that cover the face. This belief is baffling because the people that hold these views don’t think that nuns shouldn’t wear their robes or habit and if they did they wouldn’t be called terrorists.

People have become a lot braver about what they say and are happy to express their view over social media, things that they would never say in person. Social media allows people to have an outlet with little to no consequences. When we see racism, sexism and homophobia on social media we laugh it off, it’s a joke it’s not hurting anyone. Except it is. There are real people behind these profiles and they comments people make on twitter, Facebook and Instagram need to be properly recognised for what they are and removed. The people who make these comments need to be punished for their actions online, the same as they would if they made the comments openly in public.

We all need to be more aware of what is going on, stand up if we see something we disagree with happening. Racism, homophobia, islamophobia and many others have no place in this world, all they do is promote fear and hatred. They do not benefit us and should not be allowed to continue.

Values Reflection

The values workshop taught me how your mood and behaviour can negatively or positively impact children, their behaviour and learning.

The activity we done consisted of us being split into four groups and being given a pack of resources. We each received a different amount of resources and were all treated differently. Group one received the most resources and a ‘teacher’ with a positive and friendly attitude. Group two received slightly less resources and were treated slightly worse and so on until you got to group four who received very little resources and were treated very unfairly by the teacher.

I was in group four for this activity and we could tell immediately that we were being alienated by the teacher; firstly, because we had much less to work with than the other three groups and because the teacher was very hostile, uninterested and at some points rude towards us. Ths then caused us to become uninterested in the task that he had set us, and we began turning it into a joke. We noticed the praise he was giving other groups and continued to ignore us or say negative comments toward out work. We became more and more hurt as the activity continued causing us to feel very demotivated and worthless.

It then came the time to present and the teacher was uninterested in out presentation, his body language conveyed this. He didn’t look at us while we presented, he was working on his laptop, he had his arms folded and he began talking to another member of the class as well. This was a stark contrast to group one who receive lots of praise and thumbs up. He was engaged in their presentation showing enthusiasm and encouragement throughout. He also gave them positive feedback at the end and scored them 8/10 while only giving us 2/10.

At the end when everyone had been made aware of what was going on it was interesting because one girl in my group asked the class if anyone had noticed that our group had been treated differently and the consensus was no. That shows me that this could have happened not just while I was at school but in everyday life; if you are in group one you aren’t going to notice the people in group four.

 

This activity really opened my eyes to how your attitude and behaviour as a teacher can change the way a child learns and the way they feel about themselves. Even us as adults pertly aware of what was going on still were left feeling demotivated and confused. This will make me more conscious of the way I behave in class, for everything from my tone of voice to my body language to the way I speak.

 

My Primary Choice

Why teaching? That’s what we have all been asking ourselves since day one. Walking into our fist lecture, looking anxiously around for a friendly face.

I believe that teaching offers diverse fun and amazing opportunities for growth and development in children. Teaching allows us to shape the future and leave a lasting impact.

I spend every free moment of my time working with children of all ages and abilities, whether that is with the young girls at Rainbows and Brownies or the children with disabilities at Muirfield Riding Therapy, I am always striving to better the life of children. This is why I know that teaching is the best thing for me to study at university. I have taken a few years out of my studies, I travelled to America to work at Camp Half Moon for two summers where I was a counsellor. Again this showed my commitment to children and their wellbeing.

Volunteering is definitely how I decided I wanted to be a teacher, it allowed me to work with children at all different levels and abilities. It showed me how easy children are to imprint with ideas and thoughts; the importance of what you say and how you act. Muirfield Riding Therapy in particular has always been close to my heart. I have volunteered there for six years and recently began my coaching qualification. It’s an incredible nationwide charity that offers hippotherapy to people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities. It is something I talk about often and I will never stop recruiting volunteers. Becoming a teacher will allow we to be an even better coach and likewise with teaching, being a coach will hopefully allow me to be a better teacher.

I hope my time at Dundee will allow me to grow into the teacher I have always aspired to be, the teacher that inspired me in school. I aim to be kind and compassionate, creative and fun, firm but fair; all the qualities that when tangled together make a teacher a teacher.