Monday, February 07, 2011

Metacognition is the Golden Key

 I am a strong believer in open education, a trend that some people believe would put all of us working in Higher Education out of a job. What is open education? In my perfect world, it is groups of people who share the desire to know about something, coming together, finding a teacher, and learning it. There are no grades, there is no term. When they are finished they go away. Maybe it isn't even a group. Maybe it's just me, and I find my resources, the books, videos, articles, whatever, and then I think about things. And after I have thought about it, I make something. I add to the knowledge of the world.

The Internet is a wonderful partner to open education because literally everything is out there, just waiting for me to find it.

So what do we, those of us in formal education, what do we offer to our students? Why do they need us at all?

Well, I think we hold the golden key to all this learning and knowledge making. We are the ones who can help our students to understand the gap between where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow. We are the ones who can help them to understand how to actually perform that act of self examination. We are the ones who can teach students to evaluate themselves, and determine for themselves, what is needed to bridge that gap.

One of my work pals has told me that her students don't want to do this. They want HER to do this. Well, too bad. Because if we don't teach students this much, they will never go on to be the life-long learners that our society must have in order to survive. They will be come slaves to their own ignorance. Metacognition is the golden key, and if we don't give it to our students, we have failed to actually teach them anything of value.


Post a Comment