Sunday, April 11, 2010

Metacognition and Reflection

This post will build on the first post where I explored the various kinds of reflection.  I think tying it together in this way will make it more meaningful.

  1. Technologic or Formulaic Thinking-- procedural thinking that is based on pre-existing knowledge that comes from somewhere outside of the thinker
    1. This kind of reflective thinking would be good for students to examine a process that is based on an already-established protocol.
      1. Masonry students could examine the process behind laying brick and discuss why it is ordered in a given way.
      2. Early Childhood students could reflect on the process given to calm a scared child with separation anxiety to understand why the sequence used is successful.
  2. Situational Thinking-- thinking that is rooted in an immediate moment in time and does not look beyond the moment to any root causes
    1. Students can be urged to use situational thinking to guide behavior from moment to moment, but this kind of thinking will not serve to solve any core problems.
      1. Public Safety students could reflect on the actions and behavior needed in a variety of high stress situations, such as traffic stops, domestic disputes, auto accidents, and house fires.
      2. Nursing students can reflect on the behavior required to interact with a patient who is experiencing trauma.
  3. Deliberate Thinking-- deeper thinking that is used to go beyond the immediate situation to understand the core issue
    1. Students can use this type of thinking to better understand a process or situation.  The students can call on outside expertise.  The students can reflect on a procedure that they are engaging in within a group project or within a lab environment, in order to understand why it is or is not working.
      1. Early Childhood students can examine the preschool schedule to understand why children are having difficulty transitioning from one activity to another.
      2. Landscaping students can reflect on the preparation and care needed for plants to grow when a flower bed is not flourishing the way it should be.
  4. Dialectical Thinking-- thinking that builds on deliberate thinking to generate solutions
    1. Early Childhood students can build on the preschool schedule and transition issue to suggest solutions and possible changes that can be made based on a variety of expert sources.
    2. Landscaping students can look for solutions to help create a healthier environment for flower beds that are not flourishing.
    3. This is the perfect kind of thinking to use in a project-based learning situation as the students work through an issue and proposing solutions.

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