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The role of meta-cognition in teaching Mathematics to the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Program learners - Essay Example

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The role of meta-cognition in teaching Mathematics to the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Program learners Mathematics is such an integral part of human life that nobody’s day ever gets completed without having done mathematics in one way or the other…
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The role of meta-cognition in teaching Mathematics to the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Program learners
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Download file to see previous pages It is for this importance that mathematics holds in our everyday life that the approach towards the teaching of mathematics in school must be done with so much circumspection. Because mathematics is part of our everyday life, it must be taught in such a way that students will adopt concepts through relational learning rather than though rote learning. According to Fox (2009), relational learning has taken place when teachers realize that “learning isn’t just an academic exercise designed to score individuals on their ability to regurgitate information. Rather, it is a lifelong process of understanding truth, gaining wisdom, and making better life decisions” and therefore approaches teaching with methods that are interactive and practical. This is particularly important to ensure at the basic level such as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years. This is because at the primary level, students’ understanding of what they learn is dependent upon relating ideas to their own experience (Junior Achievement Michiana, 2007). One educational concept that plays major role when talking about relational or practical learning of mathematics is meta-cognition. Key words: Cognition, Metacognition. The term Cognition and Metacognition Cherry (2011) defines cognition as “the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension, including thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem-solving.” Metacognition refers to one's knowledge concerning one's own cognitive processes or anything related to them, e.g. the learning-of relevant properties of information or data.(Flavell, 1976, p. 232). This means that Metacognitive knowledge can be described as the knowledge, awareness, and deeper understanding of one’s own cognitive processes and products (Flavell 1976). Metacognitive skills can be seen as the voluntary control people have over their own cognitive processes (Brown 1987). This transformation suggests changes both in curricular content and instructional style. It involves renewed effort to focus on: • Seeking solutions, not just memorizing procedures; • Exploring patterns, not just memorizing formulas; • Formulating conjectures, not just doing exercises. As teaching begins to reflect these emphases, students will have opportunities to study as an exploratory, dynamic, evolving discipline rather than as a rigid, absolute, closed body of laws to be memorized. For instance in Mathematics: When we solve the sum or a problem we are using ‘Cognition’, that is we are forced to think of different strategies to solve the problem and ‘Metacognition‘ is when we cross-check the answer, maybe we could scrutinize each and every alternative in a multiple-choice task before deciding which is the best one. According to Lucangeli et al (1995), since Flavell introduced the concept of metacognition in 1976, most authors agree that the construct can be differentiated into a knowledge and skills component. It has long been assumed that metacognition—thinking about one’s own thoughts—is a uniquely human ability. Yet a decade of research suggests that, like humans, other animals can differentiate between what they know and what they do not know. They opt out of difficult trials; they avoid tests they are unlikely to answer correctly; and they make riskier ‘‘bets’’ when their memories are accurate than they do when their memori ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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