Lachlan Whatley


Integrating the Tenants of Epistemology, through the use of Contemporary Film, to Aid In the Development of the Individual’s Metacognitive Processes


Albert Einstein once said, “A stretched mind never returns to its original size.” Epistemology concerns itself with the study of how we learn, or how knowledge is attained, while metacognition is being aware of how we process knowledge itself. This would suggest that the content of what we teach is critical; however, how our students think about knowledge and how students view their own thinking are equally important. There are four over riding tenants that develop our epistemology. These can be grouped into: action/concrete experience, learning involving goal setting and increasing effectiveness (Wegner, 1998); cognition, intra and interpersonal transformation that occur within and between individuals (Kegan, 1994); reflection, which is engaging in self-discovery and questioning (Vince, 1998); and experience, how new experiences lead to a greater sense of satisfaction, motivation or development (Heron, 1992; Kolb, 1984). Given that not all approaches fit cleanly into only one category, these four areas are somewhat fluid. If we are to be transforming educators, it is essential that we are intentional about the development of an individual student’s epistemology. This observation places the notion that learning relies on deliberate recognition and resolution of the multiple learning demands at the forefront of our understanding, and necessitates the need to integrate the four components so that superior learning can occur. Yet, it was the work of Muis (2007) who suggested that the way to develop an individuals’ epistemology was to also develop and enhance their metagcognition. Thus, it is imperative that classroom pedagogy/andraogary/heutagogy consider the four tenants of epistemology and the significance of the individual’s metacognition. This presentation uses an example from a course in corporate/business finance, and showcases how the use of film: firstly, reinforces the students’ understanding of a major theory covered within the course by linking to a specific application within the film; secondly, assists students with integrating the four tenants of epistemology and thereby heightens the learning experience of the course content’s theory and its application; and, thirdly, plays a role in the development of the students’ metacognition. This presentation will then also discuss the benefits, limitations and implications of the presenter’s experience of using film within a course.


Lachlan Whatley has worked at Trinity Western University, TWU, within the School of Business since August 2008. Prior to joining TWU, Lachlan was a faculty member at the University of the Fraser Valley, UFV. Lachlan has an undergraduate degree in business with a major in accounting, a masters of commerce in finance, and a masters of arts in organizational leadership. Lachlan is also a CPA and a CGA. Lachlan's return to academia has been in response to God's prompting and fueled by a desire to assist others to attain their professional goals. Lachlan is also responding to God's prompting to be involved in teaching sound financial management, particularly within the context of the Greater Church, while this is augmented by a large developing interest in writing and researching on transforming leadership.