Everything! We need metacognitive skills to manage anything and everything we care about in school and in life. Metacognition is a cognitive process that allows us to think about unsolved problems that impede progress towards goals and intentions and implement the interventions and strategies to solve those problems effectively. It is the process that allows us to continuously learn from our mistakes and improve on performance and outcomes. To effectively use metacognitive skills, we must also integrate the use of other executive functions. This can be hard for those with ADHD and executive function deficits.

Practical problem-solving skills require an effective and continuous metacognitive process.

This process is called ACTIVATED LEARNING. Activated Learning is a metacognitive skill development process developed by Dr. Laurie Faith. It is a cyclical process where students consistently explore a goal or aim and the unsolved problems that get in the way. Through a repeated cycle of practice and reflection, students progress in understanding their barriers/problems and how to implement their own strategies to overcome those barriers. With time and practice, students learn that they can not only solve meaningful problems in their school life but also go out into the world with metacognitive skills to solve any problem, no matter how big or small.

To develop metacognitive skills in the classroom, students need an organized process to manage their individualized learning needs. When done correctly, note-taking is an organized metacognitive process where students think deeply about their learning and independently track information important to their progress. It is a time to track what they are understanding and NOT understanding, whether it is a history lecture or biology textbook. The Cornell Note-Taking System is the best of the four note-taking strategies. It is simple and gives students a roadmap in order to think, plan, and organize learning. It also gives them an organized process to plan against future problems and implement strategies in preparing for quizzes and tests.

Activated Learning is A POWERFUL process that fosters a growth mindset, personal agency, and self-efficacy.

About Dr. Laurie Faith:

Laurie has partnered with Dr. Murphy and EEC in offering virtual and in person presentations to educators in the US. Dr. Laurie’s book “Executive Function in the Classroom: overcoming barriers, building strategies” is a powerful resource for teachers. Her goal is to help ease dependency on clinical or Tier 2 interventions or the use of special curriculums or modular programs.