The Metacognition Debate Generator - This Month's Metacognition Teaching Resource Spotlight

Each month we take a closer look at one of the metacognition or self-regulated learning teaching resource that we offer. The aim of self-regulated learning is to empower students to take control of their own learning-processes; metacognition is the cognitive aspect of self-regulated learning and emphasises the awareness, understanding & regulation of thought.

Reading these monthly posts can contribute to your continued professional development and give you new ideas for classroom practice: why not try a new resource each month and, slowly but surely, become a master of metacognition! Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make a new resource to use with your students or, if you’d like to save time, you might download and try one of the resources from our site.

Our teaching resources are aimed at teachers of students aged 11-16 and can be used by all teachers: regardless of their subject-specialism. They emphasise student-reflection, metacognition and self-regulation.

This month we’re looking at The Metacognition Debate Generator. Links to order and download the resource can be found at the bottom of the article or you can click here.


What Is The Metacognition Debate Generator?

The Metacognition Debate Generator is a PowerPoint Presentation with built in randomisation features that creates active debate prompts for class discussions and debates. Debates ask students to move to a specific area or side of the class in order to show their initial response to the prompt: all of the debate prompts relate to metacognition, self-regulation and learning power. There are over one hundred prompts built into the resource making it a tool that can be used with the same group many times.


What Is The Metacognition Debate Generator For?

The Metacognition Debate Generator aims to create student debates and discussions about how to maximise learning; behind these discussions we hope students engage in metacognitive reflection and develop their metacognitive awareness. It’s a great way to get students engaged on that ‘meta’ level (in relation to their learning) whereby they’re analysing how learning works, what influences learning power, and how to maximise performance.


How Do I Use The Metacognition Debate Generator?

Once you’ve ordered and downloaded the resource: it’s ready to run as a PowerPoint presentation – you don’t even need to print anything out before you can use it in lessons: all you need is a group of students and a space. It is possible to use the resource for an entire session, with a tutor-group, as a reusable starter activity or as a quick activity to make efficient use of any spare time teachers have at the end of lessons.

Each prompt asks students to move to a side of the room depending on whether they agree/disagree with it: students should be discouraged from hovering in the middle. Once they’ve moved and shown their views then it’s time to engage in questioning, challenging and provoke healthy debate between the different sides.


How Does It Foster Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning?

Put simply: by making them think! Debates have a unique capacity to create engagement as students (rightly or wrongly) want to “win” the argument by showing that they have good reasons for their position. Students are made to think about different issues relating to learning and to form reasoned arguments in response to them. The ultimate goal is for students to gain metacognitive knowledge through this process: it can, therefore, be useful for teachers to use questioning to connect discussion back to the lives of students themselves.


Which Teachers Can Use This?

This resource is suitable for teachers of any subject who work with students aged 11-16: it is suited to high, low and mixed ability groups.


To Which Students Is The Metacognition Debate Generator Most Suited?

This resource is designed to be used with students aged 11-16 though is probably useful for students slightly younger and older than this. It is perfectly suitable for students of all abilities and also works well in mixed-ability classes.


How Else Does The Metacognition Debate Generator Benefit Students?

Aside from developing metacognition and self-regulated learning, The Metacognition Debate Generator also has the benefit of training critical-thinking skills and Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) since using it promotes evaluating and analytic thinking.


Where Can I Get It?

This resource can be ordered or downloaded by clicking here. Membership Plan holders can download it freely via the ‘Member’s Area’ by clicking here. You can browse our other metacognition and self-regulated learning-resources here.

You can also use the site menu to navigate and download our large collection of metacognition & self-regulated learning teaching resources. Don’t forget to check-out the ‘Free Downloads’ section of the site!