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Metacognition: Learning How To Learn

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posted on May, 11 2017 @ 04:26 PM
a reply to: 123143

There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition.

Wikipedia: Metacognition.

Having resources is not the problem. Maybe having too many like a dog with two bones is a better way of thinking about it. And that is where "regulation" comes in. It is "behavior modification" applied to thinking. Yes, you still need to do the actual work. But choosing a strategy or approach by stopping and reflecting what you are about to do is not a bad thing.

There are work safety "self appraisals" that one does before performing a task. I'm talking about manual working. This is learned behavior where you stop and ask yourself, "Do I have everything I need to perform ? Have I performed a safety check?" This cuts down on many work related injuries.

Applied to learning it is showing benefits. Even your response has, "take notes," as an assumption. Which means you already have both goals and a plan prior to reading. Metacognition makes the assumption that there are no assumptions and then stops and asks, "Now what should you do to learn"?

As Wikipedia says, aspects of this go back to Aristotle and before.

posted on May, 12 2017 @ 09:47 PM

True learning is about problem solving. The human brain rewires when it learns. Neuroplasticity. It's a fundamental part of evolution. How can one person solve a difficult problem and another one can't? No on really knows. But necessity is the mother of invention. So the guy/gal who solved the problem of making fire rewired the brain in some small way that problem solving became slightly more intuitive.

I have no idea how I learn. I'm very good at science and math. Absolutely terrible at learning a language. I hate memorization. Either I get it or I don't. I like to solve matrices - even dream about them when I can't solve them.

The most intelligent people are the ones who solve problems - big or small problems. But they solve the problem. I think that's the key to real learning and intelligence. It's a physiological event - rewiring the brain.

edit on 12-5-2017 by Phantom423 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2017 @ 04:47 PM
a reply to: Phantom423

Thanks for the link! I like these kind of puzzle questions.

"Neuroplasticity" is one of the main reasons I dropped AI as field. Nobody tried to understand or apply it. I just read about an "intelligence agent" (AI is passé these days) that grew so despondent with trying to understand it's surrounding it committed suicide! That tale comes from reading about Kevin Warwick at Wikipedia.

It is not just problem solving either. Here is fun story to read (summarized by but published in Nature: Your Brain Is Trying to Show You The Future - And It Might Save Your Life.

It still means we're living up to a tenth of a second in the past, which could make all the difference between life and death.


We take time to pre-play events in our minds to help us make a decision. Throw in neuroplasticity and creative thinking then you are formidable thought machine.

The whole OP was about students not approaching learning from a "problem solving" perspective. The adage, "Work smarter, not harder," is what was being presented. I agree with your post (and the "read" posts) because you still have to do the studying in the end. Having a "menu" and a "blueprint" helps those overwhelmed with the "how to" and "why to" study question.

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