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Chapter 6: Metacognition

Chapter 6: Chapter 6:
METACOGNITION METACOGNITION

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This chapter is devoted to discussion about metacogntion or simply put as ‘thinking about
thinking’. Metacognitive ability has been identified as a significant factor influencing
academic performance, especially in relation to reading. Learners ith high metacognitive
ability are able to employ more effective metacognitive strategies than learners ith eak
metacognitive ability. Metacomprehension is the process of e!tracting meaning from te!t
and involves to processes" aareness and action. Metacognition can be trained and
discusses are some techni#ues to enhance metacognitive ability. $lso, metacognition can
be assessed and discussed are some methods.
%pon completion of this chapter, you should be able to"
&efine hat is metacognition
Trace the proponents of metacognition
&iscuss the role of metacognition in learning
Metacognition and the classroom
'!plain the relationship beteen metacognition and reading
List some approaches in metacognitive training
CHAPTER OVERVIEW
(.) *hat is Metacognition+
(., Metacognitive -rocesses
(.. /ognitive and Metacognitive
0trategies
(.4 /$0' 0T%&1
(.2 Metacognition in the /lassroom
(.( Metacognition and 3eading
(.4 Metacognitive Training
(.8 $ssessment of Metacognition
0ummary
5ey Terms
3eferences
/hapter ) 6ntroduction
/hapter ," 7ehavioural Learning
Theories
/hapter ." 'arly /ognitive Theories
/hapter 4" 6nformation -rocessing
Model
/hapter 2" /onstructivism and
Learning
/hapter (" Metacognition
/hapter 4" Thinking and Learning
/hapter 8" %nderstanding 6ndividual
&ifferences
/hapter 8" 'motion and Learning
/hapter )9" Learning and :andling
Te!t
Chapter 6: Metacognition
6.1 WHAT IS METACOGNITION?
$t first, the ord ‘metacogntion’ may sound something sophisticated or
comple! or even intimidating. $ctually, e all engage in metacognitive activities
everyday. Metacognition enables us to be successful learners, and has also been
associated ith intelligence ;0ternberg, )88(<. 6t is often referred to simply as
thinking about thinking. /ognition refers to thinking hile metacognition is the ability
to look at your thinking. 6t is like getting out of your head and looking at the ay you
think ;see =igure (.)<. 0omehat like an ‘out of body e!perience’. Metacognition is a
critical aspect of effective learning and refers to higher order thinking that a person
engages in and involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in
learning.






Figure 6.1 Metacognition

=or e!ample, you dislike a certain person and have been telling your friends
hat a horrible person he is. >ne fine day you sit back and reflect on your thoughts.
1ou ask yourself hy dislike that person. 1ou realise that you formed an opinion of
that person based on hat your friend told you. 1ou start asking yourself hether
your friend as fair in his assessment of that person you dislike and hether he had a
82
“Thinking about Thinking”
Metacognitiv
e Knowlege
Metacognitiv
e
Control
Chapter 6: Metacognition
motive for demeaning him. 1ou are actually engaging in metacognition. 1ou are
#uestioning the ay you think? 1ou are thinking about your thinking?
There is still much debate over e!actly hat is metacognition resulting in
several terms used to describe the same phenomena such as self@regulation, e!ecutive
control and metamemory. The term metacognition is most often associated ith Aohn
=lavell, ;)84(< ho stated that
6.2 METACOGNTIVE PROCESSES
Metacognition is described as consisting of to processes" metacognitive
knoledge ;knoing about your thinking< and metacognitive e!periences or
regulation ;controlling your thinking< ;see =igure (.)<. The key ords are knowledge
and control. The learner ho knos about his or her thinking processes is likely to be
able to control these processes.

Metacognitive Knowledge


METACO!"ITIO"
Metacognitive Control


Figure #.$ Metacognitive Knowlege an Metacognitive Control
;source" A. =lavell, )848. Metacognition and cognitive monitoring" $ ne
area of cognitive@developmental in#uiry. $merican -sychologist.
.4. 894.

WHAT I% METACO!"ITIVE K"OW&E'!E(
Metacognitive knoledge is knoledge about person variables, task variables and
strategy variables.
8(
Knowing a)out
*our t+in,ing
Knowing a)out
*our t+in,ing
Controlling
*our
t+in,ing
Controlling
*our
t+in,ing
- ,nowlege o. /er0on varia)le0
- ,nowlege o. ta0, varia)le0
- ,nowlege o. 0trateg* varia)le0
@ a)ilit* to o 0o1et+ing or ta,e
action w+en *ou o not ,now
BMetacognition refers to one’s knoledge concerning one’s on cognitive
processes or anything related to them. =or e!ample, 6 am engaging in
metacognition if 6 notice that 6 am having trouble learning $ than 7C if it
strikes me that 6 should double check / before accepting it as factD ;p. ,.,<.
Chapter 6: Metacognition
• Knowlege o. /er0on varia)le0 refers to knoledge about your learning
processes. =or e!ample, you kno that studying in a #uiet library ill be more
productive than studying at home here there are many distractions.
• Knowlege o. ta0, varia)le0 refers to knoledge about the nature of the task
as ell as the type of processing demands re#uired. =or e!ample, you kno
that it ill take you more time to read and comprehend a science te!t than it
ould for you to read and comprehend a novel.
• Knowlege a)out 0trateg* varia)le0 refers to knoledge about the cognitive
and metacognitive strategies appropriate for the task. =or e!ample, studying
for an essay e!amination is different from studying for an e!amination ith
multiple@choice #uestions.
WHAT I% METACO!"ITIVE CO"TRO&(
Metacognitive control refers to your ability to do
something or take remedial action hen you do not
kno. 6t also involves the ability to monitor your
progress of learning, correcting errors, analysing the
effectiveness of the learning strategies you have used
and changing learning strategies hen necessary
;3idley, 0chutE, FlanE G *einstein, )88,<. 1ou
ensure that the mental activities you used to achieve a
cognitive goal ;e.g., understanding your science te!t<
has been met. 1ou are regulating and overseeing your
learning hich involves planning and monitoring the
cognitive activities used, as ell as checking the
outcomes of those activities.
=or e!ample, after reading a paragraph in a
te!t about ‘'@/ommerce’ a learner may #uestion
herself about the concepts discussed in the paragraph
;see =igure (..<. :er cognitive goal is to understand
the te!t. 0elf@#uestioning is a common metacognitive
comprehension monitoring strategy. 6f she finds that
she cannot anser her on #uestions, or that she does
not understand the material discussed, she must then
determine hat needs to be done to ensure that she
meets the cognitive goal of understanding the te!t.
0he may decide to go back and re@read the paragraph
ith the goal of being able to anser the #uestions
she had generated. 6f, after re@reading through the te!t
she can no anser the #uestions, she may determine
that she understands the material. Thus, the
metacognitive strategy of self@#uestioning is used to
ensure that the cognitive goal of comprehension is
met.
84
I o not uner0tan
w+at i0 e-
co11erce(
Per+a/0 I 0+oul
re-rea t+i0 0ection.
Figure 6.2
&earner i0 aware an oing
0o1et+ing to overco1e +er
lac, o. uner0taning o. e-
co11erce
SELF-CHECK 6.1
a< '!plain hat is meant by ‘metacognition’.
b< *hat is the difference beteen ‘metacognitive knoledge’ and
‘metacognitive control’+


Chapter 6: Metacognition
6.3 COGNITIVE AND METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES
>ne maHor issue involves separating hat is cognitive from hat is
metacognitive. *hat is the difference beteen a cognitive and a metacognitive
strategy+ =or e!ample, is the knoledge that you have difficulty understanding
principles from chemistry cognitive or metacognitive knoledge+ =lavell ;)848<
himself acknoledges that metacognitive knoledge may not be different from
cognitive knoledge. The distinction lies in ho the information is used.
3ecall that metacognition is referred to as Ithinking about thinkingI and
involves overseeing hether a cognitive goal has been met. This should be the
defining criterion for determining hat is metacognitive. /ognitive strategies are used
to help an individual achieve a particular goal ;e.g., understanding a passage from a
te!t< hile metacognitive strategies are used to ensure that the goal has been reached
;e.g., #uiEEing oneself to evaluate oneJs understanding of that passage in the te!t<.
Metacognitive e!periences usually follo a cognitive activity. They often occur hen
cognitions fail. The learner recognises that, he or she did not understand as Hust read.
*hen confronted ith such a situation, metacognitive processes are activated as the
learner attempts to rectify the situation.
Metacognitive and cognitive strategies may overlap. =or e!ample, #uestioning
could be regarded as either a cognitive or a metacognitive strategy depending on hat
the purpose for using such a strategy. 6f you using self@#uestioning hile reading as a
means of obtaining knoledge it is a cognitive strategy. 6f you are using self@
#uestioning as a ay of monitoring hat you have read, it is a metacognitive strategy.
/ognitive and metacognitive strategies are closely intertined and dependent upon
each other.
0ome learners may kno about their cognitive strengths or eaknesses and
the nature of the task ithout actively utilising this information to oversee learning or
regulate their learning. %ntil, they do something about it, they have not used their
metacognitive strategies. =or e!ample, a student may plan ho to approach a
mathematics e!am" I6 kno that 6 ;person variable< have difficulty ith ord
problems ;task variable<, so 6 ill anser the computational problems first and save
the ord problems for last ;strategy variable<.I *hen implemented, the student
monitors to determine hether the strategy used led to the desired goal. 6f it did not,
than the student ill take steps to find out hat ent rong and attempt to remedy the
situation. This is a complete metacognitive activity. 5noledge is considered to be
metacognitive if it is actively used in a strategic manner to ensure that a goal is met.
6.4 CASE STUDY: METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES FOR
SUCCESSFUL LEARNING
88
6.1 ACTIVITY
B/ognitive strategies are used to help an individual achieve a

particular goal hile metacognitive strategies are used to
ensure that the goal has been reachedD.
a< &iscuss.
b< Five specific e!amples.
Chapter 6: Metacognition
6magine you are about to take a final e!amination. *hat are the metacognitive
strategies you may employ+ 0ee =igure (.4 hich describes some of the mental
strategies used by successful learner.

Figure 6.3 40ing Metacognitive %trategie0 to %tu* .or an E00a* E5a1
Ksource" Aulie :alter. Metacognition %niversity of /alifornia, 0an &iego.
http"LLcoe.sdsu.eduLeetLarticlesLmetacognitionLstart.htmM
METACO!"ITIVE K"OW&E'!E6
• 1ou begin by asking yourself hat is your goal" ‘To get an B$D in ne!t eek’s
e!am’.
• 1ou identify hat you already kno about the first ( chapters of the te!tbook
that is to be tested.
88
Chapter 6: Metacognition
• 1ou do not understand completely /hapter .. 1ou need to get to the library or
access the internet.
• 1ou consider the task re#uirements" The e!am ill consist of 4 essay
#uestions and the time allotted is , hours.
• 1ou plan the study time re#uired to revise the ( chapters.
• 1ou plan to create graphic organisers for each of the chapters to sho
relationships beteen concepts and principles.
METACO!"ITIVE CO"TRO&
• 1ou monitor your on learning by self@#uestioning to determine hether you
understand the material.
• 6f you do not understand and unable to recall some sections of the material,
you ill re@read and perhaps redra the graphic organisers to enhance
understanding.
• 1ou remind yourself and control your thoughts not to ander aay from the
task at hand. /oncentrate? =ocus on the task?
7ecause metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, it is important that
students are proficient in such strategies. $s students become more skilled at using
metacognitive strategies, they gain confidence and become more independent
learners. 6ndependence leads to onership as students realise they can ac#uire
information to enhance their intellectual capabilities. The task of educators is to
acknoledge, cultivate, e!ploit and enhance the metacognitive capabilities of all
learners.
6. METACOGNITION IN THE CLASSROOM
Metcognitive ability plays an important role in differentiating successful students
from their less successful peers. /urrent research in metacognition, have highlighted
interesting differences beteen novice and e!pert learners.
For example, Expert Learners:
• are purposeful and attention@directed
• practice self@#uestioning hen studying .
• have a highly developed knoledge base hich can be accessed more readily,
• have superior general strategies for problem solving.
• design ne strategies for processing information hen old strategies hen old
strategies prove inade#uate
• are able to e!tract the main ideas more efficiently
• use prediction and inferencing skills hen studying
• are selective hen processing information
Metacognition an &earning
89
Chapter 6: Metacognition
:o is lack of metacognitive ability linked to learning+ Metacognitive
knoledge of strategies and tasks, as ell as self@knoledge, is linked to ho
students ill learn and perform in the classroom. 0tudents ho kno about the
different kinds of strategies for learning, thinking, and problem solving ill be more
likely to use them. >n the other hand, if students do not kno of a strategy, they ill
not be able to use it. 0ounds logical doesn’t it? Fenerally, students ho kno their
on strengths and eaknesses can adHust their on cognition or thinking to be more
adaptive to diverse tasks and, thus, facilitate learning.
• 6f a student realises that she does not kno very much about a particular topic,
she might pay more attention to the topic hile reading and use different
strategies to make sure she understands the topic being studied.
• 6f a student is aare that she has difficulties on certain tests ;e.g., mathematics
versus history tests<, then she can prepare for an upcoming mathematics test in
an appropriate manner.
0tudents ho lack knoledge of their on strengths and eaknesses ill be less
likely to adapt to different situations and regulate their on learning.
• 6f a student reads a te!t and thinks he understands it, but in reality does not,
then he ill be less likely to go back and re@read or revie the te!t to make
sure it is understood.
• 6f a student ho believes he understands the material thoroughly ill not study
for an upcoming test to the same e!tent as a student ho knos he does not
understand the material.
8)
*ith regards to learning, metacognitive ability includes the ability to ask
and anser the folloing #uestions"
• *hat do 6 kno about this subHect, topic, issue+
• &o 6 kno hat do 6 need to kno+
• &o 6 kno here 6 can go to get some information, knoledge+
• :o much time ill 6 need to learn this+
• *hat are some strategies and tactics that 6 can use to learn this+
• &id 6 understand hat 6 Hust heard, read or sa+
• :o ill 6 kno if 6 am learning at an appropriate rate+
• :o can 6 spot an error if 6 make one+
• :o should 6 revise my plan if it is not orking to my
e!pectationsLsatisfaction+
Ksource"
:uitt, *. ;)884<. Metacognition. 'ducational -sychology 6nteractive.
Naldosta, F$" Naldosta 0tate %niversity. 3etrieved KAune,,998M, from
http"LLchiron.valdosta.eduLhuittLcolLcogsysLmetacogn.html.
Chapter 6: Metacognition
• 6f a student believes he understands the material hen he does not ill not do
ell on the test of that material because he did not study as ell as the student
ho had an accurate perception of his lack of knoledge.
6.6 METACOGNITION AND READING COMPREHENSION

Metacognition is an integral part of
effective reading. $s you are reading this
chapter, you may be thinking to yourself
hy ‘metacognition’ is important to
learning. *hen you first encountered the
ord ‘metacognition’ it may have crossed
your mind hether ‘metacognition’ ill be
a difficult concept to understand. The fact
that you are thinking about the concept and ho you can use it to increase student
learning is ‘metacognitive thinking’. The fact that you ere asking yourself these
types of #uestions is indicative that you are thinking about your on thinking.
:o is metacognition related to reading+ 6n their famous study, -ressley and
$fflerbach ;)882<, found that e!pert readers and highly skilled readers use specific
metacognitive strategies before, during and after reading to aid their comprehension
and understanding of the te!ts read. The behaviours that good readers use help them
to construct meaning hile reading, make evaluations of te!t and make connections
ith prior knoledge and e!periences. Metacognitive strategies increase a reader’s
8,
6.2 ACTIVITY
Lack of Metacognitive Ability among
niver!ity "t#$ent!
You would expect university students to have well
established metacognitive ability. In their study among
university students, Hofer, Yu, & Pintrich (1998) and
McKeachie, & Lin (1987), were surprised at the number
of students who come to college having very little metacognitive knowledge;
knowledge about different strategies, different cognitive tasks, and,
particularly, accurate knowledge about themselves.
Given the fact that students who go on to college are more likely to
be better students in general suggests that there is a need to explicitly
teach metacognitive knowledge in primary and secondary school.
Do you agree ith the above finding about university or secondary school
students+
*ere you an efficient learner hile you ere in university or secondary
school+ &o you ish you ere a more efficient learner+
Chapter 6: Metacognition
ability to construct meaning and to evaluate the te!t he or she is reading. The
folloing is a list of metacognitive skills e!hibited by a skilful reader"
• Auto1aticit* O performing a task ithout thinking or little attention. =or
e!ample, students are able to decode te!t ithout hesitation hen they
encounter unknon ords.
• Con0ciou0 Con0tructive Re0/on0e0 O conscious processes are carried out to
help increase comprehension. =or e!ample, good reading behaviours are
e!hibited consciously hen used to e!tract meaning before, during and after
reading.
• Co1/re+en0ion Monitoring @ adHusting one’s reading processes to e!tract
meaning from te!t. =or e!ample faced ith an unknon ord, rather than
skipping the ord and continuing reading, the reader ill stop and try to
discover the meaning of the unknon ord.
• %el.-Regulation O setting realistic goals, employing strategies to achieve the
goals, monitoring hether the goals have been attained, and evaluating one’s
thinking. =or e!ample, before reading a story, the reader ill ask the #uestionC
B*hat is the purpose of reading this story+D
• T+in,-Alou O thought processes are verbalised. =or e!ample, hen reading
a te!t, the reader may stop and say aloud, BThis is connected to PPD or say
to himself or herself BThis reminds me of PP.D


The above statement may be prevalent in secondary schools or even
institution of higher education and yet little has been done to address the
problem. The poor comprehension of prose material refers to those found in the
content areas such as in science and the social sciences. *ith each subHect there are
specific te!tbooks together ith perhaps orkbooks, orksheets and reference
materials from hich learners are e!pected to e!tract information. Many teachers
assume that their students can comprehend hat they read based upon their
ability to communicate and sound out ords. =urthermore, some teachers are of the
opinion that reading skills should have been ac#uired in the primary school and that
secondary school is for the mastery of content. =e ould deny that Qcontent is
kingJ but the Eeal ith hich teachers try to Qget through the curriculumJ often
results in eak learners ;or eak readers< being left on their on to resolve their
learning problems.
0uccess in the content areas or the school subHect areas is very much
dependent on the efficiency and effectiveness of learnersJ in comprehending their
te!tbooks and related prose materials. The dominance of the te!tbook is most evident
in Malaysian secondary schools and the printed page continues to be the maHor source
of information for students hether they are in the form of books, Hournals,
8.
My kids canJt read their te!tbooks? 7ut, every teacher is a
teacher of reading? 7oth of those positions are the result of
the dominant role the te!tbook plays in the secondary
schools. Many teachers place the responsibility for learning
on the te!tbook or on the studentsJ inability to learn from
the te!tbook. O Thelen.)882. p. v.
Chapter 6: Metacognition
magaEines, pamphlets, or presented on a computer screen. 3eading comprehension or
understanding ritten content is the cru! of the reading act. 0tudents cannot learn
unless they can comprehend reading material, and they cannot remember hat they
read unless they understand it. The poor reader may be summarised as one ho is"
• Less able to take charge of his or her on cognitive processes hile reading.
• They are not as fle!ible as good readers in adapting their processing to the
demands of the task and to capitalise on the structure or conte!tual
constraints inherent in te!ts.
• Less efficient in monitoring their understanding of the material read or are
deficient in metacognitive skills.
:ence, hen a teacher assigns reading in a history, geography, science or
economics class, he or she Icannot e!pect all students to Bread more carefullyJ,
Qfigure things out for themselves,J Qlook it upJ, or Qask someone for helpJ hen so
often the student is unaare that something has Qgone rongJ in the first placeI
;Langer, )88,, p.42<. 7ron ;)889< identified reading strategies as instances
of ‘metacomprehension’ described as Iany deliberate planful control of activities that
give birth to comprehensionI ;p.42(<. Metacomprehension involves at least to
separate componentsC that is aareness and action ;see =igure (.2<.

Figure 6.#6 Co1/onent0 o.
Metaco1/re+en0ion
K0ource" 7ron, L ;)88,<. Learning
ho to learn from reading. 6n
A. Langer and M. 0mith@7urke ;'ds.<, 3eader Meets $uthorL7ridging the
Fap" $ sycholinguistic and 0ciolinguistic -erspective.
Reark, &el." 6nternational 3eading $ssociationM
$areness of oneJs on cognitive behaviour during reading includesC
• aareness of purpose of the reading assignment,
• aareness of hat one knos about the reading task,
84
METACOMPREHE"%IO"
AWARE"E%%
• -urpose
• *hat one knos
• *hat one does not kno
• *hat facilitates learning
ACTIO"
• /hecking
• -lanning
• 'valuating
• 3evising
• 3emediating
Chapter 6: Metacognition
• aareness of hat needs to be knon,
• aareness of the strategies and skills hich facilitate
• or impede learning from te!t.
$ction is the ability to use self@regulatory mechanisms or cognitive monitoring to
ensure the successful completion of the task such as"
• checking the outcome of any attempt to solve the problem,
• planning oneJs ne!t move,
• evaluating the effectiveness of any attempted action,
• testing and revising oneJs strategies for learning, and remediating
any difficulties encountered by
• using compensatory strategies
The successful reader is one ho is able to monitor his or her understanding of
hat is being read and this metacognitive skill is apparently not developed in
all students. Linked to reading, metacognition involves Qknoing hat you knoJ,
Qknoing hat you need to knoJ and Qknoing the utility of active interventionJ
;0anacore, )884<. 6n other ords, to be an efficient and effective reader, the person
should be able to monitor his or her degree of understanding, be aare of the
knoledge possessed, be conscious of the task demanded and kno the
strategies that facilitates comprehension. :oever, 7ron ;)884< points out that
though,


6.! METACOGNITIVE TRAINING
82
.... it is tempting to conclude that ineffective monitoring of oneJs
cognitive processes during reading is the cause of poor
comprehension, e caution against such precipitous conclusion. The
maHority of studies have shon that ineffective monitoring is associated
ith poor comprehension, but not that it is the cause. 6t may be that poor
comprehension reduces the ability to monitor oneJs ongoing activitiesC or
perhaps a third factor such as impoverished background knoledge,
responsible for both problems ;p.44<.
6.3 ACTIVITY
a< 7riefly describe the components of metacomprehension
b< &o you agree that the inability of students to effectively
read material is attributed to eak comprehension+
c< :o ould your relate poor academic performance to
eak metacomprehension ability+
Chapter 6: Metacognition
/an students be taught to enhance their metacognitive abilities+ 3esearch
suggests that teaching students ho to be more aare of their learning processes
enhances their effectiveness as learners. 6ncreasingly, research seems to indicate that
there is a need to teach for metacognitive knoledge e!plicitly. Teachers may do this
in some lessons, but in many cases the instruction is more implicit. 6t may be
inaccurate to assume that all students ill be able to ac#uire metacognitive knoledge
on their on. >f course, some students do ac#uire metacognitive knoledge through
e!perience and ith age, but many more students fail to do so.
:oever, there is debate as to ho metacognitive strategies should be taught. 0ome
researchers have argued that it should be taught as separate courses or separate units.
>thers have suggested that metacognitive knoledge be embedded ithin the usual
content in different subHect areas.
• Feneral strategies for thinking and problem solving can be taught in 'nglish,
mathematics, science, geography, history, economics, art, music, and even
physical education courses.
• 0cience teachers can teach general scientific methods and procedures, but
learning ill likely be more effective hen it is tied to specific science
content, not taught in the abstract.
• 3eading and riting lessons could focus on different general strategies for
reading comprehension or riting.
Teachers are encouraged to plan for teaching metacognitive knoledge in
their regular teaching and assess their use among students. =or e!ample, during any
lesson, the teacher identifies, labels and discuses a particular metacognitive strategy
hen it comes up. This e!plicit labelling and discussion creates aareness of the
strategies and hopefully encourages them to recognise such strategies hen they
appear in other situations. 6n addition, making the discussion of metacognitive
knoledge and strategies part of everyday discussion in the classroom fosters the
habit of students talking about their on cognition and learning. $s they hear and see
ho their classmates approach a task, they can compare their on strategies ith their
classmatesJ and make Hudgments about the relative use of different strategies ;see
=igure (.(<. This type of discussion helps makes cognition and learning more e!plicit
and rather than being something that happens mysteriously or that some students Iget
itI and learn hile others struggle and do not learn.
6n addition to classroom discussion about metacognitive knoledge, another
important instructional strategy is the modelling of strategies, accompanied by an
e!planation of them. =or e!ample, as the teacher is solving a problem for the class, he
might talk aloud about his on cognitive processes as he orks through the problem.
This provides a model for students, shoing them ho they use strategies in solving
real problems. 6n addition, the teacher also might discuss hy he is using this
particular strategy for this specific problem, thereby also engaging students in issues
concerning the conditional knoledge that governs hen and hy to use different
8(
According to Flavell (1979), “increasing the quantity and quality of
children’s metacognitive knoledge and monitoring skills through
systematic training may !e feasi!le as ell as desira!le" (#$ 9%&)$
Chapter 6: Metacognition
strategies. $s e!perts in their field, teachers have all kinds of implicit knoledge
about strategies and hen and hy they are appropriate to useC hoever, students
often lack the means to gain access to this knoledge. 6f the knoledge is never
shared through discussion, modelling, or e!plicit instruction, it is difficult for students
to learn.
Figure 6.6 A %tuent %+aring Hi0 Metacognitive T+oug+t0 wit+ Ot+er0
6." ASSESSMENT OF METACOGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE
84
SELF-CHECK 6.2
a< &o you agree metacognitive abilities can be enhanced.
b< '!plain =igure (.( and sho ho it ill help it improve

metacognitive ability of students.


Chapter 6: Metacognition
$ssessment of metacognitive knoledge by teachers ill be informal rather
than formal. =or e!ample, if teachers are teaching and discussing metacognitive
knoledge as part of their normal classroom teaching, they ill need to talk to their
students about metacognitive knoledge and, perhaps more importantly, actually
listen to the students as they talk about their on cognition and learning. $s a result
of these conversations, teachers ill become aare of the general level of
metacognitive knoledge in their classrooms and ill be able to Hudge the level and
depth of studentsJ metacognitive knoledge.
6n many respects, this is no different from hat teachers do to assess the level
of content knoledge their students bring to their classrooms. They start a discussion,
ask some #uestions, listen to the ansers, and talk ith students. 7ased on interaction,
they can #uickly estimate the depth of studentsJ prior knoledge. This type of
informal assessment can be used to help students gain both content knoledge
;hether it be factual, conceptual, or procedural< and metacognitive knoledge.
=rom these informal Iassessment conversations,I teachers also may be able to
make inferences about the level of metacognitive knoledge of individual students.
Aust as there is variance in the content knoledge that students bring to the classroom,
it is likely there ill be a ide distribution of metacognitive knoledge in a class of
,9@.9 students. This information about individual students can be used to adapt
instruction to individual differences. Teachers can talk to students individually or in
small groups to estimate levels of metacognitive knoledge.
$nother techni#ue that can be used is self@assessment. 0tudents are given the
opportunity to assess their on strengths and eaknesses. -intrich G 0chunk ;,99,<
suggest that this should be done privately. 0tudents meet individually ith their
teachers to discuss their perceptions of their on strengths and eaknesses, and
teachers can provide them ith feedback about these perceptions.
0till another techni#ue is to use portfolio assessment. 6t offers students the
opportunity to reflect on their ork as represented in the portfolio and this also
provides self@assessment information to them.
88
Chapter 6: Metacognition
SUMMARY
• Metacognition refers to higher order thinking hich involves active
control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning" Thinking about
Thinking.

• Metacognitive knoledge is knoledge about person variables, task
variables and strategy variables.
• Metacognitive control refers to your ability to do something or take
remedial action hen you do not kno.
• Metacognitive knoledge of strategies and tasks, as ell as self@
knoledge, is linked to ho students ill learn and perform in the
classroom
• Metcognitive ability plays an important role in differentiating successful
students from their less successful peers.
• Metacomprehension involves at least to separate componentsC that is
aareness and action.
• 3esearch suggests that teaching students ho to be more aare of their
learning processes enhances their effectiveness as learners.
• $ssessment of metacognitive knoledge by teachers ill be informal
rather than formal.
88
%E& TE'M"
%E& TE'M"
Metacognition Metacomprehension
Metacognitive knoledge $utomaticity
Metacognitive control 0elf@regulation
Metacognitive training /onscious constructive responses
Modelling
Think aloud
Metacognition Metacomprehension
Metacognitive knoledge $utomaticity
Metacognitive control 0elf@regulation
Metacognitive training /onscious constructive responses
Modelling
Think aloud
Chapter 6: Metacognition
REFERENCES
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