Metacognition, the awareness of and reflection on one’s own thinking process, is critical to student success. It is critical to adult success too. The story of Eskolta’s work with Metropolitan Diploma Plus is a story of how metacognition is helping schools improve.

For the last three years, Metro, a transfer school serving over-age under-credited students in the high-poverty Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, has worked with Eskolta and partner organization in reDesign in the Transfer School Common Core Institute, an initiative sponsored by the NYC Department of Education. Over that time, a teacher team at Metro worked with us to develop, iterate on, and refine practices to engage students in thinking about their own speaking and listening skills through metacognitive reflection on skills and language. The results have been extraordinary: students and teachers report increased student engagement and learning as test scores have risen.

This year, Metro became a Community of Practice Host School in TSCCI, in which their successful teacher team serves as a learning resource for a group of educators from other transfer schools to reflect on and improve their own practices. In October, Metro welcomed educators from South Brooklyn Community High School, Brooklyn Bridge Academy, and ROADS Charter School to observe and discuss student speaking and listening practices in Metro classrooms. With the support and facilitation by Eskolta team members, Metro staff shared tools and rubrics that were critical to the success of the work, and has since worked with visitors to develop their own action plans drawing upon their learning from Metro. According to Eskolta’s Aaron Boyle, “Schools have really appreciated Metro’s openness in providing opportunities to observe and discuss these tools first-hand with their teachers.  It means the strides in student learning Metro has seen from these efforts don’t have to just be in their school, but now other schools get to build on that work to hopefully see similar successes.”