March Research Round-up on Metacognitive Strategies, Well-Being and Self-Regulated Learning
As the spring term comes to a close, Thinking Matters brings you our latest Research Round-up. This month the highlighted books and articles focus on metacognitive strategies, retrieval practice, well-being and self-regulated learning.
Holiday Reading Recommendations:
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a popular science international bestseller on how to make and break habits. It is based on good evidence and has obvious interest to anyone wanting to make small changes that can have a big impact on outcomes - There are lots of gems for teachers to take into their classrooms too.
One of the takeaways from Atomic Habits is "If you want to learn something, teach it". So, here is some useful research showing how that can be structured in a classroom environment in a way that ties in with retrieval practice. In a nutshell, at the start of a lesson a pair of students work together to recap the previous lesson to the rest of the class using a range of visual materials and low stakes quizzing.
That message is backed up by this piece of research which emphasises that education settings should “….promote self-regulation abilities at early ages, as it is a preventive factor for future well-being and against mental disorders such as anxiety and depression and behavioural disorders including self-harm and suicidal ideation in adolescence.
Metacognitive and self-regulating learning behaviours boosts self-efficacy, self-esteem and resilience in learning. To explore how your school can help to develop a growth mindset with self-regulating learning, book a conversation with one of our experienced consultants.
Staff Motivation & Well-being:
In terms of teacher wellbeing - a TES survey, carried out this month, showed that 44% of school staff 'do not feel valued at work'. We receive great feedback from teachers who have been offered the opportunity to use Motivational Maps by their leadership teams - and so we thought we’d end the term by offering one FREE to each school who’d like to try one. The typical comment is that it makes those who are given the chance to take one (and discuss it afterwards) a feeling of being genuinely valued as individuals, by their organisations. Motivational Maps help stimulate authentic conversations around intrinsic personal motivators for both staff and students. Try it out!
Metacognitive Strategies & Multi-Modal Learning
Want increased participation?
You'd expect Project Zero's Thinking Routines to be backed up by evidence and so it was good to recently get a reminder that one of the best known routines, the metacognitive strategy 'Think-Pair-Share', is shown to have resulted in a 70% increase in student's willingness to respond to a teacher's questions. It promotes Metacognition through first allowing time for thinking (rather than hands straight up), listening or questioning peers to refine and identify key points before sharing. If you want to overcome your student's reticence to participate in class discussion: giving them a partner to bounce their ideas off first seems to be a winner.
What power does combining words and actions generate on being able to remember vocabulary?
Thanks to Edutopia's wonderful 'The Research Is In' facility which flagged a fascinating study looking at the impact of multi-modal learning. What power does combining words and actions generate on being able to remember vocabulary? Lots is the answer (an effect size of 1.23 for those who deal in that currency). So, if you want your learners to remember the word aeroplane then get them to act out flying around like... an aeroplane.