From Meta-Cognition to 'Meta-Practition': From Intrapreneurship to Entrepreneurship

Gordon Lindsay Alcock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingContribution to reportResearchpeer-review


This working paper documents student self-assessment and portfolio reflection on the progression of their learning, personal and professional development within VIA University College’s BATCoM degree (Bachelor of Architectural Technology and Construction Management). Initially inspired by Bloom’s taxonomies, Vygotsky’s ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD) and Lave and Wenger’s concept of Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP), the author has developed frameworks for both Metacognitive and Meta-practitive portfolios that reflect students’ own and peer interpretations of their professional and personal development, documented in their student portfolios. Portfolios that relate to two clearly defined learning environments within their 3½ year education. From the initial ‘Learning to Learn’ environment (L2L) through the ‘Professional student’ or Learning for Life’ (L4L) environment.
The study specifically explores and develops the concept of student ‘self-authorship’ in regard to career and life choices both within their education, practical placement (internship), encouraging them to see learning as entrepreneurial. It is based on over 25 years of PBL practice where students develop competencies, attitudes and values that improve learning and life strategies relevant to established practice within their chosen career… their ‘community of building professionals’. A community from widely diverse educational backgrounds with very diverse metacognitive processing and attitudes to learning. This paper explores and documents, materials and methods that enable such students to adopt and adapt personal and team learning strategies in a collaborative PBL culture, using Metacognitive portfolios in their initial 1st and 2nd semesters (L2L environment) and a self-authoring, Meta-practitive approach over the rest of their 3½ year Profession Bachelor degree. Such portfolios are both quantitative and qualitative.

The author reasons that students must progress through an initial metacognition phase as they try to understand the ‘supercomplexity’ of their education and develop from school-like ‘Lower Order Learning Strategies’ to more sophisticated ‘adult’ or Higher Order Learning Strategies which relate to their understanding of the practice of their coming profession … ‘Meta-Practition’. From a definition of Metacognition as being ‘Learning about Learning’ or ‘Knowing about Knowing’ the author defines the term “Meta-Practition” as “Learning about praxsis / practice”, encouraging students to reflect upon and plan future life and career choices with the concept of ‘Metapractition’ also encompassing the concepts of ‘intrapreneurship ’ and ‘entrepreneurship’.
The portfolio models are easily adapted for other educations to initiate, maintain and develop students’ reflective competencies, The study also incorporates defined forms of PBL and Ronald Barnett’s views on education in the ‘age of super-complexity’. The quantitative aspects of the portfolio were inspired by Vygotsky’s concept of ‘Zone of Proximal development’ (ZPD) while the qualitative reflection follows Lave and Wenger’s work on ‘LPP’… ‘Legitimate Peripheral Participation’ in acquiring knowledge, developing attitudes and values and undertaking professional action within ‘communities of professional practice’.
The portfolios are paper-based in the initial ‘L2L’ phase of student educations and digital after the 2nd semester and are linked to the encouragement of entrepreneurship with the concepts of ‘Metapractition’ and students’ ‘self-authorship’ encouraging them to ‘behave’ like intra/ entrepreneurs and which, for some, may develop into genuine entreneurship.
The results include students reporting greater understanding of both what and how they learn with many making rapid progress from Lower to Higher Order learning Strategies, not least in collaborative learning, understanding diversity within their teams and appreciation of learning aims and strategies that differ from their own.
The methodologies defined aid teacher and self-facilitation as they document student learning bases and learning gains in graphic quantitative form enabling students to develop individually while maintaining differing professional and personal ambitions as students progress through their BATCoM education and define life and career choices … including potential entrepreneurship… both before and after graduation.

Student reflections also claim extended mentor / mentee and other networks, both within and outside college; Increased awareness of coming management and potential leadership roles and, not least, the knowledge, attitudes and values needed for the world they enter after graduation, where they meet the third of their 3 learning environments … ‘LLL’ … Life Long Learning.

Key words:- Metacognition; Metapractition ; ‘Profession Bachelor’; Self-Authorship; Intrapreneuship: Entrepreneuship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings 1stEuropean Networking Conference on Entrepreneurship Education
EditorsAnne Kirketerp, Antoniya Doneva
PublisherVIA University College
Publication date28 Jan 2015
ISBN (Electronic)9788799365630
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2015


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