The Educational Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit ranks strategies by the “extra months” of pupil progress they secure and topping their chart is metacognition, which has “consistently high levels of impact, with pupils making an average of eight months’ additional progress” each year.
Metacognition is not simply “thinking about thinking”, it is much more complex than this. Metacognition is actively monitoring one’s own learning and, based on this monitoring, making changes to one’s own learning behaviours and strategies.
Although a metacognitive approach typically focuses on allowing the learner rather than the teacher to take control of their own learning, this is not to say that the teacher has no role to play – particularly in the primary phase. Indeed, the teacher is integral to the development of younger pupils’ metacognitive skills. For example, for primary pupils to become metacognitive, self-regulated learners, the teacher must:
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