Meta-Learning is an attempt to inculcate meta-cognitive awareness in young, secondary level students. In Pakistan, education is mostly textbook based. In addition to this, textbooks that are designed for use in secondary schools fail to engage the students. These books lack hypothetical questions which require students to employ their meta-cognitive abilities. For Example, if a student of Class X is asked to apply Newton’s first law of motion on a situation he will be unable to do so. It is not because they have not learned the law but it is because they have failed to use meta-cognitive functions and have focused on rote'-memorization (Dawn, 2012). They can only recall its definition but cannot apply it in real-life situations. At the regional roundtable conference held in 2016, conducted by LUMS and AKU-IED, it was acknowledged that the existing assessment practices (including classroom assessment and national examinations) encourage mainly rote learning instead of problem-solving skills. Hence they fail to prepare students for the job market.
Geography was selected for this project as it is a subject which, surprisingly, has rarely the focus of research in Pakistan. This can be justified by the lack of statistics available on the topic. Hence, instead of focusing on literacy and mathematics - as most researches do - it was decided that the intervention would focus on improving learning outcomes in geography by having students utilize meta-cognitive strategies instead of rote' memorization.
This project is currently part of my thesis research.
Sara T. Sheikh