Metacognition

Thinking about One’s Thinking


Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking.  More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.
Initially studied for its development in young children (Baker & Brown, 1984; Flavell, 1985), researchers soon began to look at how experts display metacognitive thinking and how, then, these thought processes can be taught to novices to improve their learning (Hatano & Inagaki, 1986).  In How People Learn, the National Academy of Sciences’ synthesis of decades of research on the science of learning, one of the three key findings of this work is the effectiveness of a “‘metacognitive’ approach to instruction” (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000, p. 18).

Metacognitive practices increase students’ abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, p. 12; Palincsar & Brown, 1984; Scardamalia et al., 1984; Schoenfeld, 1983, 1985, 1991).  They do this by gaining a level of awareness above the subject matter: they also think about the tasks and contexts of different learning situations and themselves as learners in these different contexts.  When Pintrich (2002) asserts that “Students who know about the different kinds of strategies for learning, thinking, and problem solving will be more likely to use them” (p. 222), notice the students must “know about” these strategies, not just practice them.  As Zohar and David (2009) explain, there must be a “conscious meta-strategic level of H[igher] O[rder] T[hinking]” (p. 179).

Metacognitive practices help students become aware of their strengths and weaknesses as learners, writers, readers, test-takers, group members, etc.  A key element is recognizing the limit of one’s knowledge or ability and then figuring out how to expand that knowledge or extend the ability. Those who know their strengths and weaknesses in these areas will be more likely to “actively monitor their learning strategies and resources and assess their readiness for particular tasks and performances” (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, p. 67).

The absence of metacognition connects to the research by Dunning, Johnson, Ehrlinger, and Kruger on “Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence” (2003).  They found that “people tend to be blissfully unaware of their incompetence,” lacking “insight about deficiencies in their intellectual and social skills.”  They identified this pattern across domains—from test-taking, writing grammatically, thinking logically, to recognizing humor, to hunters’ knowledge about firearms and medical lab technicians’ knowledge of medical terminology and problem-solving skills (p. 83-84).  In short, “if people lack the skills to produce correct answers, they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers, or anyone else’s, are right or wrong” (p. 85).  This research suggests that increased metacognitive abilities—to learn specific (and correct) skills, how to recognize them, and how to practice them—is needed in many contexts.

Link:https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/metacognition/

13 replies
  1. Fateme Hemmati
    Fateme Hemmati says:

    Metacognition is one of the high-level thinking skills and is defined as thinking about thinking processes, self-learning and controlling these processes.

    Reply
  2. ghazal moulayi poor
    ghazal moulayi poor says:

    Hello Professor, I hope you have a good day. Decades of empirical studies have shown that metacognition is effective at decreasing addictive behaviors and improving emotional well-being.

    Reply
  3. Mahdi afsharmehr
    Mahdi afsharmehr says:

    Metacognition can help to understand better, learn better, achieve better academic results, learn mathematics, develop reading and writing, make informed and intelligent decisions in life

    Reply
  4. Fatemeh Sarhadi
    Fatemeh Sarhadi says:

    I am Fatemeh Sarhadi from Iranian University. It was great, the professor of metacognition means knowing about your thoughts and thinking about your thoughts.

    Reply
  5. Fatemeh Sarhadi
    Fatemeh Sarhadi says:

    I am Fatemeh Sarhadhi from Iranian University. It was great, the professor of metacognition means knowing about your thoughts and thinking about your thoughts.

    Reply
  6. Sevda_jafari
    Sevda_jafari says:

    Metacognition is an awareness of one’s thought processes and an understanding of the patterns behind them. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning “beyond”, or “on top of”.[1] Metacognition can take many forms, such as reflecting on one’s ways of thinking and knowing when and how to use particular strategies for problem-solving.[1] There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition.[2] A metacognitive model differs from other scientific models in that the creator of the model is per definition also enclosed within it.[3] Scientific models are often prone to distancing the observer from the object or field of study whereas a metacognitive model in general tries to include the observer in the model.

    Reply
  7. Fatemeh Sarhadi
    Fatemeh Sarhadi says:

    Metacognitive refers to a person’s knowledge about his cognitive system and how to control it. The prefix “super” means to raise. Metacognition is cognitive, which means thinking about one’s thoughts, which thinking can be about what a person knows, it can be about a person’s cognitive and emotional state.

    Reply
  8. Soudabeh Ashoori
    Soudabeh Ashoori says:

    Hello respected teacher. I am Sudabeh Ashoori Your search engine. Good time. Metacognitive force Another recognition It is very important. How and with what information you can do this The need for science and knowledge is the same Thank you for your useful information.

    Reply
  9. Azadeh shokri
    Azadeh shokri says:

    Hi professor Ithink thinking kind of skill that should be done consciously
    When we think vary differently, we look very different, when we think vary differently we say different.
    So the idea of windmill has a positive result

    Reply
  10. فاطمه سرحدی
    فاطمه سرحدی says:

    Metacognitive refers to a person’s knowledge about his cognitive system and how to control it. The prefix “super” means to raise. Metacognition is cognitive, which means thinking about one’s thoughts, which thinking can be about what a person knows, it can be about a person’s cognitive and emotional state. To distinguish between metacognitive thoughts and other thoughts, it is necessary to examine the metacognitive source. Metacognitive thoughts do not originate from outside, and their source is related to the person’s mental representations of that reality, which can include what the person knows, how he works, and how he feels about doing that task.

    Reply
  11. Armina Armansharif
    Armina Armansharif says:

    Metacognition blossoms the talent of children and makes them progress in the profession they are talented in and be self-aware in the future.

    Reply

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