Scaffolding cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction in regular class lessons
Lawson, Mike Joseph
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The quality of teachers’ knowledge about how people learn influences students’ learning outcomes. Similarly, the quality of students’ knowledge about how they learn influences their engagement in self-regulated learning and consequently, their learning achievement. There is a gap between research findings that support these two premises and teaching-learning practices in classrooms. In this paper we describe attempts to reduce this gap. In Study 1 we surveyed early adolescent students’ cognitive and metacognitive strategy use and demonstrated that students’ cognitive and metacognitive strategy knowledge has substantial room for improvement. In Studies 2 and 3 we collaborated with teachers to embed explicit cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction, using learning protocols, into regular class lessons. Studies 2 and 3 showed that the learning protocols slipped readily into teachers’ typical lesson designs, scaffolded teachers’ delivery of strategy instruction, and scaffolded some students’ acquisition of strategy knowledge, although progress was sometimes slow. Recommendations are presented for supporting teachers and students to engage with cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction.