“More and more critics are venturing to ask what is lost when a dialogue with literature gives way to a permanent diagnosis,when the remedial reading of texts loses all sight of why we are drawn to such texts in the first place” (“Introduction,” Uses of Literature, 1)
” . . . how do scholars of literature make a case for the value of what we do? How do we come up with rationales for reading and talking about books without reverting tot the canon-worship of the past?” (2).
“. . . as teachers and scholars charged with advancing our discipline, we are sorely in need of more cogent and compelling justifications for what we do” (3).
” . . . encounters with literary works of art make it possible for us to come in contact with ourselves, to recover a lost spontaneity. . . By allowing ourselves to enter the imaginary mode of awareness, we submit ourselves to the guidance of an author as we lend a book some of our life” (“Preface,” Landscapes of Learning, 2).
“. . . I am interested in trying to awaken educators to a realization that transformations are conceivable, that learning is stimulated by a sense of future possibility and by a sense of what might be” (3-4)
“The point is that learning must be a process of discovery and recovery in response to worthwhile questions rising out of conscious life in concrete situations. And learning must be in some manner emancipatory, in the sense that it equips individuals to understand the history of the knowledge structures they are encountering, the paradigms in use in the sciences, and the relation of all of these to human interests and particular moments of human time” (19).
Metacognition and the value of transfer (excerpt provided by Mindshift):
Excerpted from “Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed,” by Charles Fadel, Bernie Trilling and Maya Bialik. The following is from the section, “Metacognition—Reflecting on Learning Goals, Strategies, and Results.”
Metacognition, simply put, is the process of thinking about thinking. It is important in every aspect of school and life, since it involves self-reflection on one’s current position, future goals, potential actions and strategies, and results. At its core, it is a basic survival strategy, and has been shown to be present even in rats.
Perhaps the most important reason for developing metacognition is that it can improve the application of knowledge, skills, and character qualities in realms beyond the immediate context in which they were learned. This can result in the transfer of competencies across disciplines—important for students preparing for real-life situations where clear-cut divisions of disciplines fall away and one must select competencies from the entire gamut of their experience to effectively apply them to the challenges at hand. Even within academic settings, it is valuable—and often necessary—to apply principles and methods across disciplinary lines.
Transfer can also be necessary within a discipline, such as when a particular idea or skill was learned with one example, but students must know how to apply it to another task to complete their homework or exams, or to a different context. Transfer is the ultimate goal of all education, as students are expected to internalize what they learn in school and apply it to life.
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3. Verbalization of explanations of verbal or nonverbal knowledge (such as explaining how one makes use of the rhetorical structures of a story as one reads).
Only this third level of metacognitive process has been linked to improved results in problem solving.
Metacognition can be developed in students in the context of their current goals and can enhance their learning of competencies as well as transfer of learning, no matter their starting achievement level. In fact, it may be most useful for lower-achieving students, as the higher-achieving students are already employing strategies that have proven successful for them. For learning disabled and low – achieving students, metacognitive training has been shown to improve behavior more effectively than traditional attention-control training.
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