TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Abstract: Teaching Law Students How to Become Metacognitive Thinkers: Helping Students Develop Their Mental Apps

Metacognition is “our awareness of the learning process.” It is “thinking about one’s own thinking.” More specifically, it “includes both knowledge of one’s knowledge, processes, cognitive and affective states, and the ability to consciously and deliberately monitor and regulate one’s knowledge, process, cognitive and affective states.”

Understanding metacognition and how to use metacognitive skills is a major part of becoming a successful learner. Helping law students become metacognitive learners will make them better lawyers and life-long learners. However, most students do not acquire metacognitive skills on their own. Rather, they require a “coach” (a law professor) to develop expertise.

This article shows how law professors can help their students understand metacognition and develop metacognitive skills (their mental apps). Part II of this article discusses metacognition in general, and Part III shows how law professors can help their students develop metacognitive skills. Subjects in Part III include developing metacognitive awareness, teaching metacognition in the classroom, teaching students how to use metacognition while studying, teaching students metacognition in one-on-one meetings, and using formative assessments to develop metacognition.

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