EEF Blog: New EEF case studies - How metacognitive strategies can support independent learning and revision

EEF Learning Behaviours specialist and secondary school SENCo, Kirsten Mould, introduces two new case studies, designed to amplify key messages from the evidence and show how they have been successfully applied in real classrooms. 

The pandemic brought with it extended periods of home learning for most pupils, with school leaders and teachers supporting children with their self-regulation and metacognition remotely. Now that all children are back in the classroom, a return to school routines has seen some pupils thrive. However, others have exhibited a lack of resilience, with a reduced ability to work independently. As a result, the explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies has continued to be, or recently become, a priority for many schools looking to support pupils and their learning.

“Early indications are that the gap may have widened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, therefore supporting children to self-regulate and relearn classroom routines such as strategies to use when they are stuck will be of even greater importance.” - Julie Kettlewell, Assistant Headteacher at Huntington Research school

Successful implementation of new ideas and initiatives happens in stages and takes time. Developing new teaching strategies to support metacognition through professional development would include whole staff training as well as follow-on supporting activities back in school. It is not uncommon to spend 2-4 years on an implementation process.

The recommendations in the EEF’s Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning guidance report provide a starting point for school leaders to critically review how they support staff with understanding metacognition and self-regulation and how these skills can be taught explicitly. These two case studies from a secondary school and a sixth form offer a window into a school and college that have been testing out approaches for their students:

  • In this case study Adam Stubbs, science teacher from Park View School in Country Durham explains how he is trialling metacognitive approaches for independent learning in his classroom.
  • Kathryn Parkinson, Curriculum Area Leader for Science from Oldham Sixth Form College describes staff training and explicit teaching of revision strategies with their students in this case study.

These EEF case studies can be shared with senior leadership teams, governors, and teaching staff as part of each school’s drive to engage with evidence and assess how best to implement the right strategies for their students.

Metacognition and Self-regulated Learning

Seven recommendations for teaching self-regulated learning & metacognition

Metacognition and Self-regulated Learning