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Metacognition

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"Metacognition" is one of the latest buzz words in educational psychology, but what exactly is metacognition? The length and abstract nature of the word makes it sound intimidating, yet its not as daunting a concept as it might seem. We engage in metacognitive activities everyday. Metacognition enables us to be successful learners, and has been associated with intelligence . Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature. Because metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, it is important to study metacognitive activity and development to determine how students can be taught to better apply their cognitive resources through metacognitive control.

"Metacognition" is often simply defined as "thinking about thinking." In actuality, defining metacognition is not that simple. Although the term has been part of the vocabulary of educational psychologists for the last couple of decades, and the concept for as long as humans have been able to reflect on their cognitive experiences, there is much debate over exactly what metacognition is. One reason for this confusion is the fact that there are several terms currently used to describe the same basic phenomenon (e.g., self-regulation, executive control), or an aspect of that phenomenon (e.g., meta-memory), and these terms are often used interchangeably in the literature. While there are some distinctions between definitions , all emphasize the role of executive processes in the overseeing and regulation of cognitive processes.

The term "metacognition" is most often associated with John Flavell. According to Flavell, metacognition consists of both metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences or regulation. Metacognitive knowledge refers to acquired knowledge about cognitive processes, knowledge that can be used to control cognitive processes. Flavell further divides metacognitive knowledge into three categories: knowledge of person variables, task variables and strategy variables.

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Metacognition

  1. 1. FACULTY OF EDUCATION Metacognition University Of Sindh Assigned By: Dr. Iftikhar Jaffri Submitted by: Ghulam Ruquia Soomro Subject: ED 802 psychological perspective & issues in education Roll no: 12
  2. 2. OVERVEIW  What is Metacognition?  Metacognitive Knowledge  Metacognitive Regulation  Cognitive vs. Metacognitive Strategies  Metacognition and Intelligence  Metacognition and Cognitive Strategy Instruction
  3. 3. KEY MESSAGE  Early primary students are capable of thinking about their own thinking.  The four roles of the literate learner model supports higher-order thinking in K–2 classrooms.  The Guides to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6 support all teachers in planning effective literacy instruction.  Higher-order thinking is not about a series of events or lessons, but rather about developing a habit of mind.
  4. 4. WHAT IS METACOGNITION? “thinking about your thinking” Our ability to know what we know and what we do not know; how I think; and what helps me learn. Person variables: What one recognizes about his or her strengths and weaknesses in learning and processing information. Task variables: What one knows or can figure out about the nature of a task and the processing demands required to complete the task. Strategy variables: The strategies a person has “at the ready” to apply in a flexible way to successfully accomplish a task; For example: “I know that I (person variable) have difficulty with word problems (task variable), so I will answer the computational problems first and save the word problems for last (strategy variable).”
  5. 5. METACOGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE “how to regulate your thinking” What I do to help me think and learn: Plan a strategy for producing what information is needed Monitor the steps and strategies during the action of problem solving; and Reflect on and evaluate the productiveness of our own thinking. (Dirkes,1985)
  6. 6. METACOGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE  Metacognition knowledge of person variables refers to general knowledge about how human beings learn and process information, as well as individual knowledge of one's own learning processes.  Knowledge of task variables include knowledge about the nature of the task as well as the type of processing demands that it will place upon the individual.  knowledge about strategy variables include knowledge about both cognitive and metacognitive strategies, as well as conditional knowledge about when and where it is appropriate to use such strategies.
  7. 7. METACOGNITIVE REGULATION  Metacognitive experiences involve the use of metacognitive strategies or metacognitive regulation.  Metacognitive strategies are sequential processes that one uses to control cognitive activities, and to ensure that a cognitive goal has been met.  These processes help to regulate and oversee learning, and consist of planning and monitoring cognitive activities, as well as checking the outcomes of those activities.
  8. 8. COGNITIVE VS. METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES  Recall that metacognition is referred to as "thinking about thinking" and involves overseeing whether a cognitive goal has been met.  Metacognitive and cognitive strategies may overlap in that the same strategy, such as questioning, could be regarded as either a cognitive or a metacognitive strategy depending on what the purpose for using that strategy may be.  Cognitive and metacognitive strategies are closely intertwined and dependent upon each other, any attempt to examine one without acknowledging the other would not provide an adequate picture.
  9. 9. COGNITIVE VS. METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES  Knowledge is considered to be metacognitive if it is actively used in a strategic manner to ensure that a goal is met.  Simply possessing knowledge about one's cognitive strengths or weaknesses and the nature of the task without actively utilizing this information to oversee learning is not metacognitive.
  10. 10. METACOGNITION AND INTELLIGENCE  Metacognition, or the ability to control one's cognitive processes (self-regulation) has been linked to intelligence.  Metacomponents are executive processes that control other cognitive components as well as receive feedback from these components.  "figuring out how to do a particular task or set of tasks, and then making sure that the task or set of tasks are done correctly" These executive processes involve planning, evaluating and monitoring problem-solving activities.
  11. 11. METACOGNITION AND COGNITIVE STRATEGY INSTRUCTION  The good news is that individuals can learn how to better regulate their cognitive activities.  Those with greater metacognitive abilities tend to be more successful in their cognitive endeavors.  . Most often, metacognitive instruction occurs within Cognitive Strategy Instruction programs.  Cognitive Strategy Instruction is an instructional approach which emphasizes the development of thinking skills and processes as a means to enhance learning.
  12. 12. METACOGNITION AND COGNITIVE STRATEGY INSTRUCTION  Metacognitive instruction, the most effective involve providing the learner with both knowledge of cognitive processes and strategies.  The study of metacognition has provided educational psychologists with insight about the cognitive processes involved in learning and what differentiates successful students from their less successful peers.  . It also holds several implications for instructional interventions, such as teaching students how to be more aware of their learning processes and products as well as how to regulate those processes for more effective learning.

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