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Metacognition

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What is metacognition? 
Metacognition is understanding of your best ways of learning, knowing the best way to approach a given task, monitoring your understanding and evaluating progress. Good teachers have intuitively appreciated the benefits of students developing awareness of how they learn best.
Our early experience plays an important role in determining our particular style but the style may vary according to the task in hand. Many people have been disadvantaged by too much 'chalk and talk' teaching and may go through life with a negative view of their capabilities. 
  • Only 25% of people are strong when it comes to taking in information by listening (auditory mode).
  • 35% need to see the material (visual learners).
  • 40% learn best by doing (kinesthetic learners).

Most of us learn well when we experience new material in a multisensory way.

Read article from Classroom Compass on :
 

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Albert Einstein said ideas are more important than knowledge. So although  logical thinking is highly valued, we are at our most creative when emotions and imagination are involved in the process. 

Einstein gifted his brain to science and it sits in a glass jar in a Kansas City. It is no larger than anyone else's. In fact, it had lost about 10% of its mass, as is normal for a 76 year old, but the richness of the connections between the cells is truly remarkable. Einstein's ability to function and produce novel ideas in later life was little affected by ageing. The exact nature of the links between the observed changes in an older brain and their mental consequences remains obscure.

 

Gardner's 8 Intelligences

Linguistic intelligence: sensitivity to spoken and written language. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers have high linguistic intelligence.

Logical-mathematical intelligence:  the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically.

Musical intelligence: skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns, and runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements.

Spatial intelligence: the potential to recognize and use patterns of wide space and more confined areas. 

Interpersonal intelligence:  the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people.  (Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors).

Intrapersonal intelligence: the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations and to be able to use this to inform one's life

See also Learning page

Go to Theory Into Practice (TIP) site for more information on MI Theory.

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Multiple Chance Learning

What matters is not how smart you are but how you are smart.

Howard Gardner.

 

In the heyday of the psychometric and behaviourist eras, it was generally believed that intelligence was a single inherited entity; and that human beings - initially a blank slate - could be trained to learn anything, provided it was presented in an appropriate way. Nowadays an increasing number of researchers believe precisely the opposite; that there exists a multitude of intelligences, quite independent of each other; that each intelligence has its own strengths and constraints: and that the mind is far from unencumbered at birth; and that it is unexpectedly difficult to teach things that go against the natural lines of force within an intelligence.’Howard Gardner.

 

Assumptions about intelligence being a single entity went unchallenged for decades until 1983 when Harvard professor Howard Gardner published a book called Frames of Mind.  It argued against the existence of a general intelligence factor. Gardner questioned the idea that intelligence is a single entity that can be measured by IQ tests. He stated that we  possess multiple intelligences. (See opposite column.)

 

Formal schooling tends to concentrate on linguistic and mathematical 'ways of knowing' as well as some visual and spatial learning.  Standard IQ tests are reasonably good at predicting performance at these but they are not so good at predicting success in the real world.  This is why fierce controversy rages about the failure of IQ tests to identify  people who later display flair and high intelligence in their chosen careers, while others with high IQs can perform very disappointingly. The conclusion many draw is that traditional IQ tests only measure the ability to perform well in IQ tests!

 

Read Robert Sywester's article - Happy 25th Birthday Multiple Intelligences.

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences:  http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/mitheory.shtml

 

Intelligence is a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture. The theory of multiple intelligences has helped break the psychometricians century long stranglehold on the subject of intelligence. Howard Gardner.

 

To find out which intelligences are your strongest test yourself at www.acceleratedlearning.com

 

Robert Sternberg has also made a major contribution to the Intelligence debate -

http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/sternberg.shtml as well as developing several influential theories related to creativity, wisdom, thinking styles, love and hate.

 

I define [intelligence] as your skill in achieving whatever it is you want to attain in your life within your sociocultural context by capitalizing on your strengths and compensating for, or correcting, your weaknesses. Robert Sternberg

Using our senses

By becoming more self-aware and reclaiming dormant mind capabilities we can become confident in our own experiences, and think, learn and communicate more effectively using all our senses to accelerate our learning. It certainly helps if our teachers and tutors facilitate the process by recognising that people learn differently and therefore set into motion a whole range of learning activities.