Unit 5: Becoming self-aware

In this unit you will explore how developing students’ self-awareness, or metacognition, can assist them in their learning. The following brief video provides a clear introduction to this topic.

Watch this video of James Lang talking about becoming self-aware

Download this video clip.Video player: jim_lang_-_e4j_teaching_methods_5th_principle.mp4
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The last of the five principles is self-awareness. And we do know, again, from the research that many of us have what we call illusions of fluency. That is, we believe we have more fluent knowledge than we actually do. We might feel, for example, like we have a good grasp of physics because we took a physics course in high school. But if you actually sit people down in front of a physics test then, they suddenly realise they don't know as much as they thought they did.
So one of the things that we want to do is give learners an opportunity to reflect upon, OK, what do I know? Where is my knowledge right now? What are the gaps in my knowledge? What do I still need to know? What are my weaknesses and strengths as a learner?
So you'll see there are occasional prompts or teaching activities within the Modules that are trying to get learners to reflect upon, OK, where am I right now? What do I know? What don't I know? What have I learned? What do I still need to learn?
And that's a good practice for any learner. And it's an easy thing to do in small little bits throughout a teaching experience or a learning experience where you can just invite people to do written reflections or even oral reflections on the state of their knowledge, gaps in their knowledge, and strengths. And as people do that, they recognise what they still need to do. And it often helps orient them toward new knowledge as they realise, OK, I've got to study more here, or here I'm good and I can go on to this other material.
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5.1 Metacognition