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Theme: Strategies and innovations in teaching and learning

The development of metacognitive skills among first year science students

Rowan Hollingworth
Chemistry, The University of New England
[email protected]

Catherine McLoughlin
Teaching & Learning Centre, The University of New England
[email protected]

One of the enduring problems that educators in the sciences must face in designing units is how to ensure a well-structured knowledge base without overburdening students with facts, formulae and inert knowledge. Science teachers at university must recognise that units of study should be designed not only for broad coverage of the field but also for the opportunities to master important concepts and practice key intellectual abilities. Of fundamental importance is the development of students' problem solving skills and metacognitive abilities in the first year of study, as this creates the foundation for future learning. It is proposed that metacognitive skills can be fostered by developing learners' awareness of the problem solving approaches of experts, by offering modeling and training in problem solving strategies and by employing pedagogies that enable learners to monitor and self correct their own problem solving approaches.

Full Paper in MS Word

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