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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Definition: Metacognition

The short definition of Metacognition is "Thinking about Thinking." Here are some more definitions from a variety of sources.

What people know about how (their own) cognitive processes operate is termed metacognition (cognition about cognitive processes). Acquiring knowledge about how to think might well affect how one thinks which will affect how one performs on cognitive tasks (Brown & DeLoache, 1978) as written in the book Cognitive Processes by Bourne, Dominowski, Loftus and Healy, 1979)

Metacognition is the state of being aware of one’s own thinking (Marzano et. Al (1988) and is a fundamental tool that enables learners to control their thinking and has been revealed as an important skill in the fields of Engineering (Case, Gunstone, &Lewis, 2001) and technology (Phelps, Ellis, &Hase, 2002) as well as instructional design and training (Clark, 1988, 202; Reingold, Rimor, & Kalay, 2008) Rarely do students become self-aware of metacognition, instead an instructor needs to point it out to the students as an important element in problem-solving. (information as cited by Lawanto, 2010)

It has also been defined as a process by which the brain organizes and monitors cognitive resources. (Cuasay, 1992).

The ISPI's latest journal "Performance Improvement Quarterly" had an article titled "Students' Metacognition During an Engineering Design Project" which was a very interesting read and had a nice section on metacognition.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of metacognition.


Bourne,L. E., Dominowski,R. L., Loftus, E. F., and Healy, A. F. (1979) Cognitive Processes. Second Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice Hall.

Brown, A. L., & DeLoache, J. S. (1978) Skills, plans, and self-regulation. In R.S. Siegler (Ed.), Childrens' thinking: What develops? Hillsdale, N.J. Erlbaum.

Case, J., Gunstone, R., & Lewis, R. (2001) Students’ metacognitive development in an innovative second year chemical engineering course. Research in Science Education, 31(3), 313-335.

Clark, R. C. (1998) Metacognition and human performance improvement. Performnce Improvement Quarterly, 1, 33-45.

Clark, R.C. (2002) Aplying cognitive strategies to instructional design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 41(7), 8-14.

Cuasay, P. (1992) Cognitive factors in academic achievement. Higher Education Exension Service, 3(3), 1-8.

Lawanto, O. (2010). Student’s Metacongition During an Engineering Design Project. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 23(2), 117-136

Marzano, R. J., Brandt, R. S., Hughes, C.S., Jones, B. F., Presseisen, B.Z., Rankin, S.C., et al. (1988). Dimensions of thinking: A framework for curriculum and instruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Phelps, R., Ellis, A., & Hase, S. (2002, December). The role of metacongintive and reflective learning processes in developing capable computer users. Paper presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society of Comptuers in Learning in Tertiary Education, Melborne.

Reingold, R., Rimor, R., & Kalay, A. (2008) Instructor's scaffolding in support of student's metacognition through a teacher education online course: A case study. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 7(2), 139-151.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like similar thing as metaphysics...haha.