Lecture Date



The ability to think about one’s own thinking—metacognition—is identified as one of the keys to subject mastery in most, if not all, disciplines. It is clear that being able to be one’s own critic — assessing and reassessing one’s understanding — is of critical importance to learning. Rarely, however, is metacognition explicitly taught or discussed as a centerpiece of learning in a content-heavy classroom, even with the best intentions of the professors.

A panel of Hofstra faculty from the disciplines of psychology, biology, law, engineering and writing studies will share results from their ongoing research about the impact of integrating the teaching of metacognitive skills with substantive content. The panel will engage the audience in discussion about specific metacognitive practices that can be used throughout undergraduate and graduate programs. After an overview of research in metacognition in our subject areas, the panel will facilitate small-group discussions, each focused on a metacognitive technique that can be applied in a wide range of classroom contexts. The groups will then share highlights from each discussion, with the aim that attendees learn about tools to easily introduce and teach metacognition in their own classrooms.

Speaker Information


Dr. Saryn R. Goldberg is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Goldberg received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on biomechanics from Stanford University. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes of Health before joining Hofstra’s faculty in 2007. At Hofstra she teaches courses in mechanical engineering, materials science and biomechanics. Her primary area of research is in engineering education, focusing on the use of metacognitive writing prompts to help engineering students learn to identify and ask productive questions to support their learning. In addition, Dr. Goldberg is involved in research studying the biomechanics of human movement.


Jennifer A. Gundlach is a Clinical Professor of Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. In the past, she has also served as the Vice-Dean, as well as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and for Experiential Education. Professor Gundlach was a civil litigator in Washington, D.C. for several years before she began teaching full-time. She taught at American University’s Washington College of Law and Suffolk University Law School before joining the faculty at Hofstra Law. Professor Gundlach teaches Civil Procedure, Pre-Trial Litigation, Foundational Lawyering Skills, Lawyers’ Ethics, Disability Law, and law and technology courses. Her research and scholarship interests draw on social science and educational theory to inform and improve law school teaching and curricular reform.


Dr. Amy Masnick is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University. Dr. Masnick received both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development at Cornell University, and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University before joining the Hofstra faculty in 2003. At Hofstra she teaches courses in introductory psychology, research methods, child development, and cognitive psychology. Dr. Masnick’s research is focused on conceptual development, reasoning about numbers and scientific experimentation in children and adults, and STEM education.


Jennifer Rich is Associate Professor of Writing Studies and Composition at Hofstra University. She received her doctorate in English and American literature at the Graduate Center/CUNY in October 2002. Her dissertation, Shakespeare’s Economic Unconscious: Representations of Emergent Capitalism in Shakespeare’s Drama, considers how the early modern emerging market-based economy is represented in Shakespeare’s drama.

Dr. Rich teaches writing and rhetoric in the Department of Writing Studies and Composition. She offers courses in writing studies, both at the introductory and advanced levels. She also teaches courses in literature and women's studies. She has published widely in the areas of writing studies, rhetoric, film studies, and Shakespeare. Dr. Rich served as the Co-PI (with Saryn Goldberg, PI and Amy Masnick) of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education RIGEE Grant exploring the creation of effective writing-to-learn heuristics for metacognitive awareness in engineering statics courses.


Jessica Santangelo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. She earned a BS in Zoology from Auburn University and a PhD in Zoology/Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. Her passion for public education and outreach led her to a position with the US Forest Service as Director of a Cultural and Environmental Learning Center. In that position, she developed, delivered and assessed education programs for K-college students and the general public. Upon her return to academia, she began conducting discipline-based education research. Her current research focus is on the role of metacognition in undergraduate student success and how faculty can support metacognitive development within the context of introductory STEM courses.

Metacognition Tools handout.pdf (249 kB)
handout on metacognition teaching tools

Spring 2017 Distinguished Faculty Lecture.jpg (150 kB)
promotional material - plasma

20170419_123237.jpg (2071 kB)
event photograph

20170419_113805.jpg (1855 kB)
event photograph



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.