Module 1 e-journal entry: Metacognition and Self-regulation

Metacognition and Self-regulation

  1.   What is metacognition? 

Metacognition  is   the awareness and understanding of  one’s thinking and cognitive processes; thinking about thinking (Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon)

It is a deeper understanding of our own unique learning process.

 (a) Discuss how the following beliefs deter learning.
(b) Describe beliefs that contrast with each
and how such can enhance learning:

According to Dr.Steven Chew of Samford University, the following are beliefs that make us fail as learners:

  • Learning is fast

True learning requires deep processing (elaboration of concepts, distinctiveness, personal relation to experience and application) and takes time. Memorizing and just merely going through the bits and pieces of information only entail shallow processing.

  • Knowledge is composed of isolated facts

Shallow processing only involves isolated facts that are, most of the time, merely memorized pieces of information. Isolated facts become meaningless if they are not coherently tied together by concepts and prior knowledge.  Knowledge requires deeper learning and understanding, comprehension and meaningful connections.

  • Intelligence is an inborn trait

I believe that some people are gifted, born with extraordinary intelligence. They are able to learn faster than others. They have the ability to think and process information and assimilate in a very short time. That is why some are said to have photographic memories.

However, I think that intelligence is not static. It is not a case of either you have it or not. It is both nature and nurture. All of us are born with a degree of intelligence, perhaps some are just better than others but it does not mean that we cannot learn. To me, the only difference between a person with superb Intelligence Quotient and an average learner (ave.IQ) is time. The former can learn a material, perhaps, in single reading in about thirty minutes. While the later average person still be able to learn the same material, perhaps, by reading and re-reading and taking notes in about forty-five or more minutes. Bottom line is that they both are able to learn and have intelligence. The only difference is their time to learn.

Intelligence therefore can be improved, developed and nurtured.

  • “I’m really good at multi-tasking”

According to Dr. Chew, we are not designed to multi-task.  However, many times we make ourselves believe that we can do several things at the same time. Truth to this is that we are able to do it at the expense of the other task we have to perform such as concentrating or focusing on learning.

To illustrate this, I think multi-tasking is like trying to look at things all at the same time  through a single lens. For those who are into photography, we all know that focusing on a subject well (sharper photos) makes the rest of the objects around it look out of focus or blurry (depth of field)

2.    What is self-regulation? Why is self-regulation (critically) important in distance education?

Self-regulation  to my understanding is having the discipline to learn in the best way one can by taking into consideration the topics, concepts, including time frame available to the learner. It is effectively monitoring one’s personal progress vis-à-vis his set learning goals and objectives.

This is critically important to DE because the program requires you to accomplish set of learning goals and objectives in a time frame. One has to manage his resources including time to meet the learning demands.

3.    How shall I study to optimize learning in this course?

I think the greatest challenge here is managing one’s time. And again, as I have learned in the previous readings, this requires discipline.  The program and the FIC though have efficiently laid down set the learning parameters by providing schedules, course outline, materials to read  and guidelines on how one’s learning will be measured. Utilizing all this information will be necessary to optimize learning.

I think that I am a visual learner and as such I enjoy learning while watching. During my clinical years in dentistry we engage a learning process called – Tell, show, do, which is like learning through mentoring. In the case of DE I believe that this still can be done by watching videos online.

4.    In what ways will keeping a learning journal help me learn better?

Keeping a learning journal enables me to track my progress. It gives DE learners like myself  keep my learning pace vis-à-vis the time given to me by the program. The journal can, in some ways, serve as a checklist for things accomplished, thoughts and insights about what I have learned, even including the list of materials I have consulted. It can also serve as my personal notes and  contain my visual maps about the deep learning processes I have experienced through the various assigned readings.

Sources:

Eidetic Memory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidetic_memory

Recall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_(memory)

Metacognition for Self-Regulated Learning in a Dynamic Environment. http://www.cs.umd.edu/~darsana/papers/SASO-09.pdf

On Learning and Maturation

  1. 1.     What events constitute learning and what events do not? As a learner yourself, what are your ideas about learning?

According to schunk (2012), is an enduring change in behavior, or in the capacity to behave in a given fashion, which results from practice or other forms of experience.

Furthermore, the author  says that the following constitute learning:

  • Change
  • Endurance over time
  • Consequence of experience

Learning is personal change in behavior and cannot be forced to anyone. Biological changes brought about maturity, although considered as lasting change over time, cannot constitute learning.

For me, learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills to be able to perform specific tasks necessary to accomplish set of goals. It could take place anywhere and anytime whether formally or informally throughout life. In fact many times it has been said that life is a continuous learning process and that the only time we stop learning is when we cease to live.

  1. 2.      Look up the difference between maturation and learning and the role of maturation in learning.  Why should teachers be aware about the relationship between maturation and learning?  Cite personal experiences or observations where the learning processes are impaired when the teacher/s fail to value this relationship.

Maturation refers to the sequential biological growth and development of an individual.(Huitt)  It takes place beyond our control – brain development and growth of body parts are some of the examples.  Learning on the other hand is acquired through our daily experiences from the environment that permanently changes our behavior.

Maturation and learning are said to be interrelated.  The learning ability of a child follows his maturation and consequent development.  As the child grows from infancy to toddler to becoming a pre-schooler, so does his cognitive and psychomotor abilities. The child learns to perform new things and tasks as he accumulates knowledge.

According to Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, children move through four different mental development. His chart shows the relationship of maturation and children’s learning ability (see linked site for chart).
Teachers must be aware of every learner’s age and maturity for him to be able to design appropriate activities for them (children/learner).  Selecting and providing the right activities engages the child and increases the chances of  knowledge acquisition.  The developmental milestones may also serve as a checklist for teachers when assessing their students’ abilities; whether they are progressing or lagging behind vis-à-vis the learner’s chronological age and maturity.

Learning is impaired when a teacher/parent/care giver of a child forces the learner to perform tasks that is not age appropriate. For example, forcing a two year old child write legibly on a piece of paper even before the child has developed his fine motor skills for writing; finger grip and the muscles of the hand have yet to be ready.  This  leads to frustration of both the child learner and the teacher who is highly expecting of the child’s performance.

Children are intelligent like their adult counterparts but they have different ways of learning (Piaget).  It is important that activities provided to them are those that suit their skills and abilities to ensure an effective learning process.

Sources:

Conditions of Learning. http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/conditions-learning.html

An Overview of Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development. http://psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/l/bl-piaget-stages.htm

Piaget’s Stages of Development: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/piagets-stages-of-development.html

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