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If you’ve ever wondered what ‘metacognitive thinking’ means, then Blue Coat’s Geography Department can reveal all with its new concept classroom, featuring six new whiteboards, purchased thanks to funding from the Development Fund.

Metacognition is the knowledge and understanding of your own thinking, and the aim is to get students to retrieve memorised information from previous lessons and then use it to work with a group.

By using the new whiteboards it means that this information can be quickly and easily expressed by students by drawing or writing key messages or words to facilitate group discussion and teamwork.

Mr Jones, Head of Geography, said: “Students can talk through the thinking behind what they are doing by using the whiteboards to explain their individual thought processes to their team. It helps them to achieve model answers by understanding the way they arrived at that conclusion.

“Generally, having the whiteboards is a good way of getting students up and active in a lesson, interacting in a lesson and comprehensibly expressing their views, as they have to stand up and verbally put across their ideas to their team.”

For example, in one particular lesson on coastal erosion, students in teams were told to draw and label headlands on the whiteboards to show how they were attacked by waves to form arches, caves, stacks and stumps. It proved an ideal way to share information in the class.

Mr Jones added: “Without these white boards I would not be able to get the students to show so easily their understanding and ability to express their ideas and how they reached them. It makes it so much easier to focus on detailed areas to ensure students’ have grasped the essential information.”

Mr Jones is undertaking a project on teaching and learning with a focus on metacognition. 

Read more in Curriculum, Development

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