Discussion of Metacognition Turns into the Bumble Bee Logic


The seminar was led by Saundra Y. Guire, a retired professor at Louisiana State University and author.

According the LSU webpage, she has won numerous awards of achievement, including a recent one in 2017, the “American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantage Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences.”

In the past, she received the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award when she was at Cornell University, the presidential award in 2007 for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science Lifetime Mentor Award.

She opened the seminar with a story about bumble bees and how they should not be able to fly.

She’s discusses how the bumble bee relates to the people who may assume that you may not be successful or be able to climb up the academic ladder.

“The letter grade itself doesn’t tell you how you mastered the material,” Guire said.

She also talks about different strategies that students can use to be successful in their studies. For example, she uses the term metacognition, the awareness and understanding of a thought process, and how we should think about the task that we need to do and the information that we don’t understand.

“It’s your ability to be consciously aware that you’re a problem solver,” Guire said.

She discusses effective homework strategies to improve grades. Strategies such as studying the material, work example problems, check to see if your problems are correct and start the problem early.

She opens the floor to students with two questions. The first question was “What’s the difference between studying and learning?” and the second question was “Which scenario would be harder for you: making an A on the exam, or teach the class materials that are going to be on the test?”

She then ends the session by discussing the ABC’s of Academic Commitment, which are Attitude, Behavior and Commitment.

“Whenever you see a bumble bee let it remind you that if anybody tells you that you are not built to do something that you know you can do when you put your mind to it, tell them to check their assumptions,” Guire said as she closed the seminar with her bumble bee comparison.

Guire interests are to improve students learning by using the metacognitive learning strategies.

She has delivered keynote addresses and workshops pertaining to the same teachings that she shares with others in over 400 different institution, in 46 states and 10 states.

Guire also has a book out called “Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate Into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills and Motivation. She even has a student version of the book, “Teach Yourself How to Learn: Strategies You Can Use to Ace Any Course at Any Level.”

Her motivation is to improve the college teaching methods by reforming “pre-college.”

She also wants to increase the number of underrepresented minority and women students who want to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Guire uses the bumble bee logic for future students to understand effective motivation of moving up the academic ladder.

PN Photo/Micheál DeMers

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