Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
24 May, 2024

Nord Anglia Education publishes new insights on the role of AI and metacognition in learning

Nord Anglia Education publishes new insights on the role of AI and metacognition in learning - Nord Anglia Education publishes new insights on the role of AI and metacognition in learning

INSIGHTS, the global publication from Nord Anglia Education, has published two new articles taking an in-depth look at AI in education and the role of metacognition in teaching and learning. 


Exploring the role of AI in learning

In its ‘Generative Generation feature, INSIGHTS explores the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, and whether the technology is making it easier for children to learn. Speaking to Nord Anglia’s educators as well as leading experts from the world of academia, it also includes real-life examples of how Nord Anglia’s schools are using AI in the classroom.

For example, Nord Anglia’s British International School in Kuala Lumpur has adapted the technology to create an AI-powered teaching assistant that can personalise learning, guide students through content exploration, and deepen their understanding through interactive activities. Learners define the topic they want to explore and the course specification they are working to, and the AI explores the content with them in a conversational way, enabling them to ask questions as they go.

Dr Bruce Geddes, Deputy Head of Secondary at the school, told INSIGHTS that AI represents “the biggest opportunity we've had in our lifetimes, for many, many spheres, but particularly in education”.

Avenues: The World School in New York, which became part of Nord Anglia in 2023, encourages its students to use AI in their work. As an example, in an app development project students use ChatGPT to generate the bulk of the coding, then review, correct and refine it. This saves them “hours of manual work by leveraging the appropriate tool in an academically appropriate way,” says Lia Muschellack, Director of Technology at the school.

The school also has its own generative AI chatbot, Savvy, built in 2019 and now powered by open AI technology. It can answer queries, provide information, and engage in “diverse discussions ranging from academic topics to casual conversations”.

“We understand that our students will be actively leveraging these tools throughout their academic and professional pathways, so we want to make sure they not only understand the potentials and limitations, but that they have tinkered and truly experienced them,” Muschellack explains.


Metacognition: a learning superpower

In its feature ‘Metacognition. Helping Kids Unlock the Power of ‘Thinking about Thinking’, INSIGHTS looks at how students can develop the important skill of metacognition.

“Metacognition is the ability to be aware of our cognitive or thought processes and to monitor, reflect on, and change those processes,” Dr Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design at the University College London Knowledge Lab, told INSIGHTS.

Nord Anglia Education is working with Dr Luckin to develop its approach to metacognition and to help teachers introduce metacognitive strategies into classrooms. It has developed a metacognitive framework of six “Learner Ambitions” to help students develop the 6 Cs: to become critical, creative, committed, and curious learners, working compassionately and collaboratively in the classroom and beyond.

As the article explains, Nord Anglia’s deep dive into metacognition has many goals: developing student agency, boosting academic performance, and developing ‘future’ skills that employers want. The framework is being initially applied across 27 Nord Anglia schools around the world and its impact will be measured in independent research in partnership with Boston College, reporting in 2025.

Nord Anglia’s examination of metacognition also involves exploring personalised goals and thinking routines. For instance, students at Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong use the “Step In, Step Out, Step Back” routine to develop empathy and understanding in their studies. “It’s about asking the right questions; those really big questions that lead to even more questions,” says Raquel Thomson, the school’s Deputy Head of Primary. “Thinking strategies like this stay with students and serve a purpose whatever they do in their lives, whether they choose to be a scientist or a teacher or go into business.”