Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Three Laws of Metacognition

With input and encouragement from the able educators at Northfield and Christ the Savior Academy, I have been thinking lately about ways to help liberal arts teachers understand ... at last ... that the tools of the trivium are not some "medieval" [in the pejorative sense in which that adjective is often used by modernity] tripartite concoction but rather the three vital stages that first encapsulate and then unite ALL the uniquely individual [and at times frustratingly autonomous] learning elements and experiences witnessed in the cognitive development that takes place in the minds of students AS they study and learn their courses [regardless of the subject] ... "THE LESSON" behind all "the lessons" so to speak.

To do this I chose to "search" for glimpses of the trivium within
  • two classic Socratic dialogues [Cratylus and Gorgias] and at the same time
  • the model modern cognitive development theories of Jean Piaget
as the basis for an inductive proposition that the tools of learning are neither a new nor merely an old concept ... but one that every teacher and every student will confront in every age in any subject ... whether [s]he recognizes it or not.

And if our proposition is truth-full, the trivium would arguably be something of surpassing and permanent educational value [in the broad sense of education] ...
  • a treasure hidden IN a field ...
  • a lesson that is learned [even if untaught] WITHIN every lesson ...
  • a pedagogy that stands [even if unknown] BEHIND every school ...
In that spirit, please enjoy The Trivium as Metacognition.