Teaching the Metacurriculum: A New Approach to Enhancing Subject-Matter Learning

Steven H. Schwartz and David N. Perkins

in Software Goes to School

Published in print May 1997 | ISBN: 9780195115772
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848041 | DOI:
Teaching the Metacurriculum: A New Approach to Enhancing Subject-Matter Learning

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Proposals on dynamic educational practice suggest that learning is not limited to the four corners of the classroom, but can be acquired through socialization and experience off the academe. In this regard, Schwartz and Perkins formulated the notion of “metacurriculum,” a collection of thoughts and tasks, derived from empirical evidences, supplementing the standard (or the “traditional” so to speak) lesson module. “Metacourse” is an intervention strategy that offers metacognitive and metaconceptual assistance in the course of mastering a subject. This theory is applied and tested to the starting students of the computer software named BASIC to enhance the learners' understanding of algebra. Suggestions on how to be more “semantic” (that is, concerned with the importance of a task and its relationship with an individual's development) and less “syntactic” (that is, memorized and short-term kind of learning) are demonstrated in the latter part of this chapter.

Keywords: educational practice; classroom; Metacourse; metacurriculum; learning; BASIC; algebra; computer software

Chapter.  6321 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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