Download our free metacognition teaching resources for educators working with students aged 10-16:
Metacognition is the cognitive aspect of self-regulated learning; metacognitive pedagogies focus on the planning, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of cognition. Some writers use the term 'metacognition' more broadly to refer to all forms of student reflection in relation to their learning process. Probably the most common definition of metacognition is that metacognition is individuals’ having information about their cognitive structure and being able to organize this structure (Georgiades, 2004) whilst Scarr and Zanden (1984), for example, define metacognition as individuals’ awareness and comprehension of processes of regulating their mental state, skills, memory and behaviour. Kluwe (1982) brought further definition to the concept of metacognition, describing activities referred to as metacognitive:
‘(a) the thinking subject has some knowledge about his own thinking and that of other persons; and
(b) the thinking subject may monitor and regulate the course of his own thinking, i.e. may act as the causal agent of his own thinking’.
Metacognition, especially the ability for students to evaluate their own level of understanding, is an essential component of self-regulated learning. According to Jones, Farquhar and Surry (1995), the further students’ awareness of metacognition is improved, the more students’ effectiveness is increased. An Analysis of Research on Metacognitive Teaching Strategies (Ellis et al 2014) concludes metacognition to be an effective strategy especially when used regularly and accompanied by effective teacher modelling.
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Free Metacognition Teaching Resources:
Ellis, Arthur & Denton, David & Bond, John. (2014). An Analysis of Research on Metacognitive Teaching Strategies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 116. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.883.
Georghiades, P. (2004). From the General to the Situated: Three Decades of Metacognition, International Journal of Science Education, 26(3), 365-383.
Jones, M. G., Farquhar, J. D. and Surry, D. W. (1995). Using Metacognitive Theories to Design User Interfaces for Computer-Based Learning. Educational Technology, 35, 12-22.
Kluwe, R.H. (1982) Cognitive Knowledge and Executive Control: metacognition, in D.R. Griffin (Ed.) Animal Mind-Human Mind, pp. 201-224. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Scarr, S. and Zanden, J. (1984). Understanding Psychology. New York: Random House.
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