Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Meta is Better by Anne E. Mullins

Here is an important article on metacognition and deep learning: Meta is Better by Anne E. Mullins.


Meta is Better, 49 N. D. L. Rev. 324 (2019), argues that a broad-based metacognitive approach to foundational legal writing courses promotes deep self-regulated student learning. Metacognition can be much more than a nice add-on to a course. Used most effectively, metacognition becomes the alpha and omega of the learning partnership. The professor explicitly teaches students about metacognition, uses metacognitive techniques in class, and adopts a metacognitive approach to the role of professor.

A tribute to Professor Patti Alleva, longtime proponent of deep learning through metacognition, the Article first identifies and explores the unique challenges of teaching and learning legal writing. In Part II, the Article demonstrates how to take a broad-based metacognitive approach to foundational legal writing courses through being explicit about metacognition, providing a framework for self-critique based in metacognition, modeling metacognitive skills, and using assessment to encourage monitoring of learning.

Part III places metacognition and legal writing into the larger law school curricular context and argues that law schools ask incoming students to do too much, too soon, and in too little time. The compressed nature of traditional curricular design forces legal writing professors into a high-stakes conundrum with student education, constantly choosing what skills to teach and how deeply to teach them. A de-compressed first year curriculum along with a robust upper-level writing curriculum would alleviate this tension and promote student learning.

(Scott Fruehwald)



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