Scaffolding cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction in regular class lessons
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The quality of teachers’ knowledge about how people learn influences students’ learning outcomes. Similarly, the quality of students’ knowledge about how they learn influences their engagement in self-regulated learning and consequently, their learning achievement. There is a gap between research findings that support these two premises and teaching–learning practices in classrooms. In this paper we describe attempts to reduce this gap. In Study 1 we surveyed early adolescent students’ cognitive and metacognitive strategy use and demonstrated that students’ cognitive and metacognitive strategy knowledge has substantial room for improvement. In Studies 2 and 3 we collaborated with teachers to embed explicit cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction, using learning protocols, into regular class lessons. Studies 2 and 3 showed that the learning protocols slipped readily into teachers’ typical lesson designs, scaffolded teachers’ delivery of strategy instruction, and scaffolded some students’ acquisition of strategy knowledge, although progress was sometimes slow. Recommendations are presented for supporting teachers and students to engage with cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction.
KeywordsTheory–practice gap Teacher knowledge Cognitive strategies Metacognitive strategies Learning protocols
This project was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant 2007–2009. Partners in the grant included Flinders University, the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services, Aberfoyle Park High School, Blackwood High School, Christies Beach High School and Flagstaff Primary School. Approval for this project was granted by the Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee and the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services.
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