Metacognitive learning: have you got it all wrapped up?

To encourage her students to think about the ways in which they learn, and to foster greater independence, Clare Feeney introduced ‘wrappers’ – a self-evaluation technique backed up by research. The results have been remarkable, she says, with pupils now continually improving their strategies for approaching tasks

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My students were discussing how they had prepared for their latest assessment, while I listened in with great interest. They get on well and, within seconds, they were sharing the tactics they had used: concept maps, summaries, essay plans and more.

Of course, the high-flyers in the class had (mainly) nailed their strategies, but the majority were still practising how to become effective learners. Hence, I soon heard murmurs of “I just highlighted the notes” and “I reread it a few times”.

This conversation had not begun spontaneously. The class was completing an “assessment wrapper”. I had ...

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