“Our ability to adapt to massive change depends on what practitioners call “metacognition” and “meta-skills”. Metacognition means thinking about thinking. In a brilliant essay for the Journal of Academic Perspectives, Natasha Robson argues that while metacognition is implicit in current teaching – “show your working”, “justify your arguments” – it should be explicit and sustained. Schoolchildren should be taught to understand how thinking works, from neuroscience to cultural conditioning; how to observe and interrogate their thought processes; and how and why they might become vulnerable to disinformation and exploitation. Self-awareness could turn out to be the most important topic of all.
Meta-skills are the overarching aptitudes – such as self-development, social intelligence, openness, resilience and creativity – that help us acquire the new competencies that sudden change demands. Like metacognition, meta-skills can be taught.”