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Students’ Learning Barriers and Meta-Cognition Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 15th, 2020

How does student disregard for civility impede learning?

The students’ incivility and possible ways to address it have been the subject of discussion for a long time. However, due to the variations of its definitions and lack of any standardized norms regarding the boundaries of the civility in the educational environment, the issue is still unresolved.

The main concern is that the disregard for civility hinders the main purpose of the education, which is to obtain knowledge and learn. The students who lack in following the standards and norms of behavior show less successful academic performance. However, alongside that worry, there is also a danger of the effects of the incivility on the other students. In terms of the results of the intentional disruptive behavior, the incivility can turn into the generalized societal patterns (Feldmann, 2001).

For example, if the group of students misbehaves in the classroom, even without showing any aggression towards the others, the teacher will be most likely distracted and will not be able to deliver the material as well as he or she could have. It affects both classroom management and the quality of the delivered material. The worst-case scenario includes intentional interference with the other students’ learning, trying to distract them from studying. In such a situation, the overall classroom management is also affected since not all of the students are involved in the process of the lesson.

The main danger of such patterns would be that not only the students who interfere with the teaching process would lack the necessary knowledge themselves but also it would affect other students and teachers (Lucas, & Rolden-Scheib, 2006).

There are several possible methods of managing and preventing incivility in the classroom. Firstly, it is important to clarify the boundaries and norms of the behavior in the classroom. To do that, the best option is to establish the students’ civility code. It will require using communication skills and trying to reach out to each of the students, but it is one of the best options for the teachers (Lucas, & Rolden-Scheib, 2006).

In such a way, the educator is to mention the behavioral standards in the syllabus he or she gives to the students. However, it is important to be sure that the students, firstly, understand the expectation and, secondly, have an opportunity to discuss any of the rules. That is why the teacher will need to organize the time to receive feedback from the class and to discuss all the issues. It will ensure not only a normative but also a communicative basis for behavioral learning (Mezirow, 1997).

The next phase of such an approach is the impressionistic behavioral norms that concern setting a good example. The actions of the educator should always be a response to the atmosphere in the classroom, but fortifying against incivility should be conducted with patience and understanding rather than returned aggression (Baker, Comer, & Martinak, 2008).

Overall, managing incivility includes multiple aspects. The main objective is not only to apply the authority to introduce the rules but also to let the students participate by discussing the behavioral issues with them and by sharing the educator’s example.

How can effective teachers in K-12 and Higher Education help students’ meta-cognition?

The process of meta-cognitions refers to the higher level of a person’s thinking abilities and reflection. In other words, it is thinking about the process of thinking. In K-12 and higher education, the students face higher requirements, and their tuition becomes more oriented to analytical thinking. Meta-cognition is one of the constituencies of the broader perspective of learning that is aimed at enhancing the students’ problem-solving abilities. The objective of such conception of learning is to prepare the students for the work in the fields of science, business and other avenues that would require analytical abilities (McCombs, 2003). Therefore, it mostly concerns the students of K-12 and those who receive higher education.

The cognitive psychology of education recognizes meta-cognition as one of the most deliberate processes in learning, alongside self-reflection and critical analysis. However, similarly to any other cognitive experience, it is hard to be taught to think and reflect in a particular way. The studies suggest that meta-cognition requires constant focus and self-monitoring more than the control from the external sources when it is used for the knowledge constructions (Schraw, Crippen, & Hartley, 2006). The teachers can assist students if they help them to train in self-discipline and critical thinking because meta-cognition was demonstrated to have positive effects on the overall academic performance (Romainville, 1994)

It is important to explore the possibilities of the meta-cognition gradually and avoid any confusion. Otherwise, for example, the students can lose their interest in the practice. The optimal option is to start with the reasoning tools and strategies, such as hypothetical-deductive reasoning, and progress to the more complicated forms when those tools are accustomed (Hmelo-Silver, 2004).

It is also important to point out the fact that people face meta-cognitive experience almost daily. However, for the students to be efficient in their research, analytical thinking, and, therefore, future careers, they need to learn the mechanisms of how their brain works and use it to their advantage.


Baker, S. D., Comer, D. R., & Martinak, M. L. (2008). All I’m askin’ is for a little respect 1: How can we promote civility in our classrooms? Organization Management Journal, 5(2), 65-80.

Feldmann, L. J. (2001). Classroom civility is another of our instructor responsibilities. College Teaching, 49(4), 137-140.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn?. Educational psychology review, 16(3), 235-266.

Lucas, J. J., & Rolden-Scheib, G. (2006). The creation and implementation of a student civility code. College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal, 2(2), 35-40.

McCombs, B. L. (2003). A framework for the redesign of K-12 education in the context of current educational reform. Theory into Practice, 42(2), 93-101.

Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1997(74), 5-12.

Romainville, M. (1994). Awareness of cognitive strategies: The relationship between university students’ metacognition and their performance. Studies in Higher Education, 19(3), 359-366.

Schraw, G., Crippen, K. J., & Hartley, K. (2006). Promoting self-regulation in science education: Metacognition as part of a broader perspective on learning. Research in Science Education, 36(1-2), 111-139.

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