Metacognition and gravestones

In writing up some of my research on information literacy, one of the attributes of what can be termed information literate students relates to metacognition. Encarta defines metacognition as “Knowledge of your own thoughts and the factors that influence your thinking” and the term is also referred to as “thinking about thinking”. So how does this relate to information literacy and, in my case, year 7 students? In my research, I found that, in the 3 Australian schools I studied, there was a small group of students who were engaged in metacognitive practices. This means that they thought about how they learned as individuals and could reflect back on their own learning.  Some of these students took a critical and reflective stance when deciding which information literacy skills/techniques they might use. For example, some students preferred a written concept map or a mental concept map because it suited their learning style and they were awareof this kind of reflection. Most students do not take a metacognitive  approach but this is not because they lack the ability to do so. It appears to be that these students need to be taught how to reflect on their own knowledge and how they reflect on the skills/techniques they use.

On our recent visit to the Scottish highlands, my wife and I were taken to the picturesque village of Cromarty which lies on the coast and dates back to the 10th century. One feature of this former sea port is that some of the houses are built withthe gable ends facing the sea, to avoid the worst effects of winter storms. In those days, folk had fewer luxuries and having a sea view from the front room was not seen as a high priority and might even, amongst some of the strict Presbyterians who lived there, be seen as somewhat sinful. Another feature of the town is the historic graveyards where there are quite a few gravestones with a skull and crossbones as a feature. There are different interpretations of this e.g. it symbolises our ultimate fate but many are accompanied by tools of trades and may well be the gravestones of freemasons or other trades organisation. The stone in the picture below is a good example. Morbid maybe, but fascinating all the same.

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One Response to “Metacognition and gravestones”

  1. Headstones Says:

    How old are the headstones, sorry 10th century headstones, they have done well to survive so long.

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