How I think about my thinking?


Metacognition. A word that we always encounter but not all of us know the true meaning or understand this. Metacognition came from two words, the prefix meta-, means beyond or change, and cognition, means activity of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering. So it simply means beyond thinking or changing the way of thinking. The word metacognition was introduced by the psychologist John Flavell in 1970’s. It is the notion of reflecting about one’s thinking can be found in writings dating back to Plato’s era who emphasized the importance of reflecting through dialogue. But what is the exact meaning of metacognition?

Metacognition means is a regulatory system that helps a person undersatnd and control his or her own cognitive performance. When someone talking about metacognition, it refers to the process of stepping back to see what you are doing as if you were someone else observing it, becoming an audience of your own self. It also involves adaptation to improve one’s learning, evaluation, generating strategies and implementing or applying it. John Flavell, as one of the first researcher in metacognition, broke it into two areas. First is the metacognitive knowledge, and the second is the metacognitive regulation. Metacognitive knowledge or Knowledge of Cognition reflect on what we know, thoughts, and even our own intuition, etc. While Metacognitive Regulation or Regulation of Cognition is where we direct our learning and planning the task by monitoring our activities, checking outcomes or assessing our own performance.

For me, as a college student, this two factors can help me improve my learning system, it will help me to evaluate my self, its like watching my self how I am thinking about my thinking. In my own experience, I usually do this whenever I do my hobby, which is writing stories. I used some strategies that help me a lot in making a good story. First is I gather all my idea, thoughts and possible plots in making a story, I wrote it on a paper and then I will start asking my self  if my idea will make my story interesting or not, simply making an assumptions, looking forward if my readers will like it or not, don’t be afraid to make a assumptions. Second, I will study if my assumptions will influenced me or my story. Third, if the assumptions does not fit, try to make another one until you find the one that will fit. Fourth, don’t be afraid to make to ask help or information on someone who is advanced to you, these people will help you to improve your skill or knowledge about on what you do. And last, committing mistakes or errors is okay, don’t lose hope.Making errors is part of learning, we get lesson in it, benefit of the error, allow your self to make error.

In having strategies in metacognition, it helps us to become more efficient in our learning in us to gain information, evaluate, and understand. As part of developing one’s cognition, learning how to aware of one’s thinking will direct consciously. Reseachers has shown that one of the key traits good problem solvers possess highly developed metacognitive skills. They know how to recognized flaws in their own thinking, articulate their thoughts and revise their efforts(Brown, Bransford, Ferrera,& Camplone, 1983).

How about you? Do you ever think how can you improve you metacognitive skills? How you think about your thinking?


rationalism and I


Rationalism defined as a philosophical view that appeals to reason as a source of knowledge (Ariola, 2014).  Rationalist is the one who believed that the route to knowledge is through logical analysis (Sternberg, 2003). Plato is the one who profoundly found the idea of rationalism. Plato stated that reality lives not in the object or perceived by our body senses, but in the idea or abstract thought that an object represent. One of my professors (in philosophy specifically), explained rationalism or being a rationalist in a simple way, he said that rationalist seeks idea or abstract thoughts first before they make an outcome. Rationalism needs critical thinking, logical analysis and deductive reasoning.

Let me share my own experience about this. As a college student, I say that sometimes I used to be a rationalist. Why? Like what Plato’s belief, that you have to think first, analyze everything in a logical and systematic way the things you want to make.  One of my hobbies is writing stories, everyone thought that it’s easy, but let me tell you this, it’s not. You may think that this is not related in rationalism, but as I analyze and read the definition of being a “rationalist”, I can say that this experience can also connect for being a rationalist. When you’re writing a story, you have to consider everything. You will think for the character, the setting, and the whole plot of the story. You really have to think and analyze everything before you write. Think how will you start your story, how will it flow when the readers read your story, you need to be skeptical sometimes, and lastly, how will you end it. Because if these steps are not being followed, the story that you made will end up bad or not so good as you want to be. In this simple experience of mine, first, I didn’t know the idea of being a rationalist, I just ignore it. Idea comes into my mind and then I will make an outcome from that idea, as simple as that. Now that I learned what a rationalist is, I think that in every simple thing that I do or did everyday or every time, I choose to be a rationalist without knowing it.

Descartes believed that innate ideas are attributes of the human mind. Without idea or abstract thought, no idea or date could be known men. As a human being, thinking is the one of the reason why we are being called alive or existed, that we are different from the creations that God made. We are using our human mind to learn additional knowledge or idea. Being a rationalist or empiricist is not important, what important is how we learn and gain knowledge, and how will we contribute it to other people. Just like one of Plato’s philosophy: “Ideas are the foundation and justification of scientific knowledge, reality does not changed, for ideas in man are immutable.”