Looking at student responses to thinking.
In Making Thinking Visible, the authors outline four different types of responses students give when asked to thinking or write about their thinking: emotional, associative, meta and strategic. Emotional responses indicate how the students feel about their thinking – unsure, hurried, stressed. Associative responses indicate accompanying features when students are thinking – while traveling, in math class, when reading. Meta responses have to do with student awareness of the purpose of thinking and complexity of the process – there is always more to know, knowledge is partial, you need to know something in order to create something. Strategic responses indicate how the student goes about thinking – practice, look for information, organize my ideas. These strategic responses can be broken down into four further categories – memory and knowledge development, generalized strategies, specific processes, self-regulation and monitoring processes.
While all thinking about thinking is useful for learners and their teachers and coaches, learning which strategies to use to monitor and regulate our learning, to commit things to memory and to complete specific tasks are of particular help for learners when creating independence and understanding.