Metacognition may be defined as “thinking about our thinking” and “knowing about our knowing.” Metacognition is key to independent learning. The students of teachers we have taught say that they are becoming the boss of their brains! When students are taught how to be independent learners at school, they are then able to use this critical ability on their college and career paths after graduation. Teachers call metacognition the gift that keeps on giving!
Research has amassed on the importance of metacognition for learning across contexts, as well as the fact that it can be taught. In fact, in a meta-analysis of 91 studies, Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993) determined that metacognition is the #1 student characteristic of high achievers at school. More recently, on a list of 150 overall factors that influence student achievement, metacognitive strategies were ranked #15 whereas, student socio-economic status was ranked #45 (Hattie, 2012). We support teachers in graduate study at NSU and professional development by sharing practical strategies for implementation of this key cognitive strategy in their classrooms. In our ASCD article you will read some of their stories.
For more on how to teach students to become independent learners, see our open-access online article in ASCD's October issue of Educational Leadership.
Hattie, J., & Anderman, E.M. (2012). International Guide to Student Achievement. New York: Routledge.
Wang, M., Haertel, G., & Walberg, H. (1993). Toward a knowledge base for school learning. Review of Educational Research, 63, 249–294. doi: 10.3102/00346543063003249