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Metacognition & Learning
Transcript of Metacognition & Learning
"The importance of metacognition in the process
of learning is an old idea that can be traced from Socrates' questioning methods, to Dewey's twentieth-century stance that we learn more from reflecting on our experiences than from the actual experiences themselves" (Tanner, 2012).
Term "metacognition" was coined in the 1970's
John H. Flavell (American developmental psychologist)
Other Influential figures:
Jean Piaget (theory of cognitive development, consciousness of cognizance & schemata)
Lev Vygotsky (child's "inner voice", self-regulation)
Ann Brown (learning difficulties stem
from inability to summarize)
Using Metacognition in the Classroom
Plan and organize (thinking about how to approach a task)
Monitor their work (thinking about their progress)
Self-reflect (assess their learning, make changes for the future)
Explain reasoning (thinking about how they arrived at an answer)
Model your own thinking
Scaffold their thinking
Ask reflective questions
Teach strategies explicitly & provide opportunities to practice
Embed reflective activities into daily instruction
reflection/learning journals, think-pair-share,
I used to think...now I think...,
What makes you say
, Read-Retell-Reread or Read On,
strategy toolbox (how? why? when?)
Metacognition & Cognition
Metacognition = positive effects on learning
Students know when they need to seek help
Students recognize their strengths
Study results; higher academic performance/achievement
"Those with greater metacognitive abilities tend to be more successful in their cognitive endeavors" (Livingston).
cognition = how you build knowledge
metacognition = how you monitor and improve that knowledge
3 types of knowledge:
1. Declarative (c)
2. Procedural (mc)
3. Conditional (mc)
METACOGNITION AND LEARNING IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS
"thinking about your thinking"
Danielle Breakfield & Melissa Menges
Psych/Special Ed Majors
Anticipating certification at the elementary level
At Marist, we have learned how to implement these strategies in specific content areas
Curious about the statistical evidence for increased achievement
Studies support the use of metacognition and learning (definitely for older students)
Want to teach metacognitive strategies to our students early on to improve academic success and future independence
John H. Flavell
Developed first formal metacognitive model (1979)
Categorized metacognition into 4 areas:
1. Metacognitive Knowledge
(knowing how they learn and process info most efficiently)
2. Metacognitive Experience
(knowing how you feel - satisfied/confident/confused etc.)
(knowing desired outcomes)
4. Activation of Strategies
(monitor progress & makes changes)
"Teachers work to guide students to become more strategic thinkers by helping them understand the way they are processing information. Questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing information are all ways that readers can examine their thinking process"
(Fountas and Pinnell).
Metacognitive skills in reading; questioning, summarizing, comprehension monitoring, word attack strategies, clarification and prediction
These strategies help students have better fluency and pull meaning from the text
Examples of metacognitive questions students can be taught to ask themselves:
For decoding troublesome words: "Does the word look right?" "Does the word sound right?" and "Does the word make sense?"
For comprehension: "Who are the main characters?" "What is the setting?" "What is the conflict/main idea?" "What are the events that lead to the resolution?" "What is the ending?"
Schoenfeld (1987) found, "...that novice students quickly chose a solution strategy and then spent all their time executing it, rarely stopping to evaluate their work to see if it was leading to the goal…In contrast, mathematicians spent most of their time analyzing the problem and making sure that they understood it. They try many more approaches, constantly asking themselves if their strategy was working and changing it immediately if it was not…As a result of their greater capacity for clarifying the problem and for monitoring the usefulness of their efforts, the actual solution was worked out quickly and accurately."
Metacognitive skills in math: strategic planning, strategy choice, re-evaluate/self-monitor, recognize when an approach is not working, explain reasoning & thought process
These strategies help students become better problem solvers and enable them to explain how they came to the solution using "math talk"
Allen, K., & Hancock, T. (2008). Reading comprehension improvement with individualized cognitive profiles and
metacognition. Literacy Research and Instruction, 47(2), 124-139.
Darling-Hammond, L., Austin, K., Cheung, M., & Martin, D. (n.d.). Thinking about thinking: Metacognition. Learner.org.
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Childhood Education, 13(2), 175-187.
Flavell, J. H., & Hartman, B. M. (2004). What children know about mental experiences. Young Children, 59(2), 102-109.
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Schunk (Eds.), Educational psychology: A century of contributions, pp. 459–475. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Raudenbush, D. (n.d.). Metacognitive questions for reading in the content area. Everyday Life. Retrieved November 21, 2013,
Snyder, K. E., Nietfeld, J. L., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2011). Giftedness and metacognition: A short-term longitudinal
investigation of metacognitive monitoring in the classroom. Gifted Child Quarterly, 55(181), 181-192.
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