IV. Cognitive and Metacognitive Skills

     In addition to academic content, an academy focuses on cognitive and metacognitive skills. Cognitive skills are those that human beings naturally use to correctly process new information and effectively complete tasks. For example, human beings naturally compare two or more objects or options in order to decide which object or option best fits the desired outcome. Although cognitive skills are, to some degree, hardwired in human beings, direct instruction of cognitive skills can greatly improve a student’s ability to think rigorously and deepen knowledge. Cognitive skills, within the scope of K-12 education, are those skills that help students retrieve and comprehend knowledge. Additionally, cognitive skills help students analyze and utilize knowledge in a variety of circumstances. There are two types of cognitive skills in the academy model: cognitive analysis skills and knowledge application skills.

Cognitive Analysis Skills

    The cognitive analysis skills in the academy model are listed in figure 4.1.

     As is the case with academic skills, cognitive analysis skills have associated proficiency scales. To illustrate, consider figure 4.2. 

     The cognitive analysis skills should be distributed throughout the curriculum in a manner like that depicted in figures 4.3 and 4.4.

Knowledge Application Skills

     As the name implies, the knowledge application skills require students to apply the content they have learned in situations or situations not specifically addressed in class. The knowledge application skills in the academy model are defined in figure 4.5.

     The proficiency scales for the knowledge application skills follow the same format as the cognitive analysis skills. Figure 4.6 depicts the proficiency scale for experimental inquiry at the middle school level.

     The knowledge application skills should be distributed throughout the curriculum in a manner like that depicted in figures 4.7 and 4.8.

Cognitive and Metacognitive measurement topics can be found in the Target Browser just like academic measurement topics. 

Metacognitive Skills

     Metacognitive skills are also addressed in the academy model. Metacognitive skills are defined broadly as those skills that help a person perform both mental and physical actions effectively and efficiently throughout his or her life (especially in difficult situations). In education, these are crucial skills for critical thinking in each subject area. They are also highly transferable between subject areas. The metacognitive skills in the academy model are defined in figure 4.9.

     Again, proficiency scales accompany each metacognitive skill. One is depicted in figure 4.10.

     Metacognitive skills should be distributed through the curriculum in a manner like that depicted in figures 4.11 and 4.12.

     In Empower, measurement topics for cognitive analysis skills, knowledge application skills, and metacognitive skills are addressed in the same manner as measurement topics for traditional subject areas. That is, they can be accessed through the target browser along with their related proficiency scales and resources. 

     If you need more information about scoring in Empower, please review chapter 3 of this book.

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©Robert J Marzano

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