Marcus and I were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss our latest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brain: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas, on the BAM Radio Network. We were interviewed by Jusmar Maness, principal of Balfour Elementary School in Asheboro, N.C., as part of the ASCD "Learn, Teach, Lead" Radio Program.
The radio program allowed us to explain the concept of metacognition, defined as "thinking about your thinking with the goal of improving learning," and share some practical ways to teach metacognitive strategies in the classroom. On the program, Marcus described metacognition as "the No. 1 attribute of high-performing students," whereas I countered the myth that learning becomes more difficult as we age. In adulthood, I explained, "Life continues to get better as we're able to be metacognitive, conscious and wise about our learning."
Much of our discussion centered on the use of the metaphor that we've used as the title of our book. As Marcus told our host, "We found that students become very positive about the idea of being metacognitive—learning to drive their brains and literally wiring their brains to become more successful in school and in life."
I then extended the "drive your brain" metaphor by describing how we use metacognition as a roadmap in the classroom so that teachers can direct student learning. I also stressed how the concept of a growth mindset fits so well with the use of metacognitive strategies. "Growth mindset is the belief that people can become functionally smarter through effort and the use of these strategies," I commented.
For additional insights and a description of metacognitive strategies, listen to the entire interview at the BAM Radio Network website.