Metacognition is essential tosuccessful learning because itenables individuals to bettermanage their cognitive skillsand to determine weaknessesthat can be corrected by constructing newcognitive skills. Almost anyone who can performa skill is capable of metacognition – that is,thinking about how they perform that skill.Promoting metacognition begins with building anawareness among learners that metacognitionexists, differs from cognition, and increasesacademic success. The next step is to teachstrategies, and more importantly, to help studentsconstruct explicit knowledge about when andwhere to use strategies. A flexible strategyrepertoire can be used next to make carefulregulatory decisions that enable individuals toplan, monitor, and evaluate their learning.Recent research indicates that metacognitivelyaware learners are more strategic and performbetter than unaware learners, allowing individualsto plan, sequence, and monitor their learning in away that directly improves performance.Metacognition is separate from other cognitiveconstraints on learning such as aptitude anddomain knowledge. There is strong support for thetwo-component model of metacognition whichincludes
Reflective aspect of learning.
Knowledgeabout cognition corresponds to whatstudents know about themselves, strategies,and conditions under which strategies aremost useful. Declarative, procedural, andconditional knowledge can be thought of asthe building blocks of conceptual knowledge.
Control aspect of learning.
Regulation ofcognition corresponds to knowledge aboutthe way students plan, implement strategies,monitor, correct comprehension errors, andevaluate their learning.A strong correlation between these factorssuggests that knowledge and regulation may workin unison to help students become self-regulatedlearners.If students are taught metacognitive awarenessconcerning the purpose and usefulness of astrategy as they are taught the strategy, they aremore likely to generalize the strategy to newsituations. Given the importance of high-stakesaccountability and the use of standards, it isimperative to teach metacognitive skills in theABLE classroom. The Metacognitive AwarenessInventory could be used to begin discussions inyour classroom by using these guiding questions:
Think about your own metacognitive processes.What kinds of strategies do you use tomonitor and access your own learning? Of the declarative, procedural, or conditionalknowledge which are you more proficient? more inefficient? Of planning, information management,monitoring, debugging, or evaluation strategies which are you more proficient? more inefficient?
We engage in metacognitive activities everyday -being aware of and monitoring our learning.Although related, cognition and metacognitiondiffer: Cognitive skills are those needed toperform a task whereas metacognitive skills arenecessary to understand how it was performed.Successful adult learners employ a range ofmetacognitive skills, and effective teachers ofadults attend to the development of these skills
Another article on Metacognition - -
Imel, S. (2002). Metacognitive Skills for AdultLearning.
Trends and Issues Alert no. 39.