Posted by: char booth | 17 August 2009

metacognitive strategizing.

Although the moment has passed, I was recently mulling over Meredith Farkas’ reply to a piece by Sarah Cohen about her rationale for not participating in Library Day in the Life. Did reporting on our daily ins and outs represent an exercise in professional insight, or was it evidence of some sort of collective librarian lackadaisicality? I believe that  it depends on how you looked at it as you did it. In addition to Meridith’s point of the value of creating a record of how librarians work for anyone who should care to be interested, I participated because I rely on metacognitive thinking to help me figure out a) how I do things, and b)  how I might do them better – using intentionality, which is how Sarah characterized what she hoped to see from the meme in a response to Meredith’s post.

Writing about each day in terms of what I wanted to accomplish and what I actually accomplished was an exercise in  occupational realism, and an assessment of my own working habits – considering how I did what I did in order to, in effect, suss myself out, and to do so in a way that contributed to the collective dialogue/record Meridith mentions. This is entirely practical. Given the state of funding in higher education, we are all going to be doing more with less from here on out.  My own department is down three instructors, which is going to translate to a lot more teaching, the emotional/energetic demands of which can have a disruptive effect on other, ongoing projects. In this context, I welcomed the opportunity to reflect a bit on how I approach getting things done.


Responses

  1. Char,
    The best response I could imagine! It is that metacognition that I felt was missing as my RSS and Twitter filled up with lists of what people were doing. Generating a chronicle of your work for these reasons has tremendous value but only if we articulate it! I’m still not sure the meme alone is valuable without that added component. Thank you for sharing this–it adds a lot to my thinking. And the moment for thinking about why we do what we do is NEVER past.

    • agreed, sarah. thanks for the comment.

  2. […] – whatever you choose to call it – is something I think of as metacognitive embedding. Metacognition is thinking about thinking in order to understand one’s knowledge and abilities, while […]


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