Sunday, September 22, 2013

MODULE V Learning Style, Orientation, Reflective Practices, Meta Cognition

Metacognition is defined as "cognition about cognition", or "knowing about knowing." It can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition Metacognition refers to one’s knowledge concerning one's own cognitive processes and products or anything related to them, e.g., the learning-relevant properties of information or data. For example, I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B; [or] if it strikes me that I should double check C before accepting it as fact. 
Metacognition is classified into three components 
1. Metacognitive knowledge (also called metacognitive awareness) is what individuals know about themselves and others as cognitive processors. 
2. Metacognitive regulation is the regulation of cognition and learning experiences through a set of activities that help people control their learning. 
3. Metacognitive experiences are those experiences that have something to do with the current, on-going cognitive endeavor. 

               Metacognition refers to a level of thinking that involves active control over the process of thinking that is used in learning situations. Planning the way to approach a learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating the progress towards the completion of a task: these are skills that are metacognitive in their nature.
 Metacognition includes at least three different types of metacognitive awareness when considering metacognitive knowledge: 
1. Declarative Knowledge: refers to knowledge about oneself as a learner and about what factors can influence one's performance. Declarative knowledge can also be referred to as "world knowledge". 
2. Procedural Knowledge: refers to knowledge about doing things. This type of knowledge is displayed as heuristics and strategies. A high degree of procedural knowledge can allow individuals to perform tasks more automatically. This is achieved through a large variety of strategies that can accessed more efficiently 
3. Conditional knowledge: refers to knowing when and why to use declarative and procedural knowledge. It allows students to allocate their resources when using strategies. This in turn allows the strategies to become more effective. Similar to metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive regulation or "regulation of cognition" contains three skills that are essential 
1. Planning: refers to the appropriate selection of strategies and the correct allocation of resources that affect task performance. 
2. Monitoring: refers to one's awareness of comprehension and task performance 
3. Evaluating: refers to appraising the final product of a task and the efficiency at which the task was performed. This can include re-evaluating strategies that were used. 

Reflective practice 
Reflective practice is "the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning", which, according to the originator of the term, is "one of the defining characteristics of professional practice". According to one definition it involves "paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where individuals learning from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal teaching or knowledge transfer, may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. As such the notion has achieved wide take-up, particularly in professional development for practitioners in the areas of education and healthcare. The question of how best to learn from experience has wider relevance however, to any organizational learning environment. In particular, people in leadership positions have a tremendous development opportunity if they engage in reflective practice. Much important reflection can occur once the immediate pressure of acting in real time has passed. Some learning inevitably takes time and the ability to view particular events in a wider context. Reflection following events has been discussed in the literature for many years, but it is important to emphasise that it is not simply a process of thinking, but one also involving feelings, emotions and decision-making. We can regard it as having three elements: return to experience ,attending to feelings and re-evaluation of experience . These are features of reflection at all stages and what is written here is also applicable at earlier stages. 
Return to experience .  The base of all learning is the lived experience of the learner. To return to this and recapture it in context with its full impact allows for further reflection. Often too little emphasis is placed on what has happened and how it was experienced at the time. Judgments about this are made prematurely and possibilities for further learning can be shut out forever. Mentally revisiting and vividly portraying the focus experience in writing can be an important first step. The role of journal writing here is to give an account of what happened and retrieve as fully as possible the rich texture of events as they unfolded. The emphasis is on conjuring up the situation afresh and capturing it in a form that enables it to be revisited with ease. Attending to feelings . As part of returning to the experience, we need to focus on the feelings and emotions which were (or are) present. These feelings can inhibit or enhance possibilities for further reflection and learning. Feelings experienced as negative may need to be discharged or sublimated otherwise they may continually distort all other perceptions and block understanding; those experienced as positive can be celebrated as it is these which will enhance the desire to pursue learning further. Expressive writing has a particular role in working with our feelings. Journals are not just the place for writing prose. Images, sketches, poems, the use of colour and form and differently draw words are among devices that can be used as vehicles to express ways of experiencing. Stream of consciousness writing in which words are poured out without pause for punctuation, spelling or self-censorship can be of value here. Rainer (1980) has, for example, many good examples of expressive forms of writing.
Re-evaluation of experience . Re-acquaintance with the event and attending to and expressing the thoughts and feelings associated with it, can prepare the ground for freer evaluation of experience than is often possible at the time. The process of re-evaluation includes, relating new information to that which is already known; seeking relationships between new and old ideas; determining the authenticity for ourselves of the ideas and feelings which have resulted; and making the resulting knowledge one’s own, a part of one’s normal ways of operating. These aspects should not be thought of as stages through which learners should pass, but parts of a whole to be taken up as needed for any particular purpose.
                 These reflective processes can be undertaken in isolation from others, but doing so may often lead to a reinforcement of existing views and perceptions. Working one-to- one or with a group for which learning is the raison d’ĂȘtre can begin to transform perspectives and challenge old patterns of learning. It is only through give and take with others and confronting the challenges they pose that critical reflection can be promoted. From the more diligent writing of return to experience, and the expressive modes of attending to feelings, re-evaluation is about finding shape, pattern and meaning in what has been produced. It involves revisiting journal entries, of looking again at what has been recorded, of adding new ideas and extensions of those partially formed. It addresses the question: what sense can I make of this and where does it lead me? It involves trying out new ideas and asking the ‘what if’ questions mentioned earlier. Re- evaluation is the end of one cycle and the beginning of another as new situations are imagined and explored.

 Types of Learning  Orientations

Firstly, the Meaning Orientation includes: Deep Approach (DEEPAPRH): active learning, questioning. Relating ideas (RELATIID): recognizing connections between ideas. Use of evidence (USEVIDNC): basing conclusions on evidence. Intrinsic Motivation (INTRNSIC): interest shown in learning for its own sake. Comprehension Learning (CMPLEARN): willingness to organize the subject matter and think in an independent way. Secondly, the Reproducing Orientation includes: Surface Approach (SURFACEA): learning by rote. Syllabus Boundness (SYLBOUND): dependence on definitions set by teacher for academic work. Fear of Failure (FEARFAIL): pessimism and anxiety regarding the outcome of academic work. Extrinsic Motivation (EXTRNSIC): interest in courses for the qualifications. Operation Learning (OPRLEARN): emphasis on facts and logical analysis. Improvidence(IMPROVID): pathology of focusing on details. Thirdly, the Achieving Orientation includes: Strategic Approach (STRATEGC): awareness of the implications of academic demands imposed by the professor. Achievement Motivation (ACHIEVMT): competitiveness and self confidence. Finally, the Non-academic Orientation includes: Disorganised Study Methods (DISORGSM): inability to work regularly and efficiently. Negative Attitudes (NEGATIVE): lack of interest and effort. Globetrotting (GLOBTROT): pathology of jumping to conclusions without carrying out the relevant justifications.

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