Promoting general metacognitive awareness A framework for understanding metacognition

  • Schraw G
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Abstract

I describe two aspects of metacognition, knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition, and how they are related to domain-specific knowledge and cognitive abilities. I argue that metacognitive knowledge is multidimensional, domain-general in nature, and teach-able. Four instructional strategies are described for promoting the construction and acquisition of metacognitive awareness. These include promoting general awareness, improving self-knowledge and regulatory skills, and promoting learning environments that are conducive to the construction and use of metacognition. This paper makes three proposals: (a) metacognition is a multidimensional phenomenon, (b) it is domain-general in nature, and (c) metacognitive knowl-edge and regulation can be improved using a variety of instructional strategies. Let me acknowledge at the beginning that each of these proposals is some-what speculative. While there is a limited amount of research that supports them, more research is needed to clarify them. Each one of these proposals is addressed in a separate section of the paper. The first makes a distinction between knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition. The second summarizes some of the recent research examining the relationship of metacognition to expertise and cognitive abilities. The third section describes four general instructional strategies for improving metacognition. These include fostering construction of new knowledge, explicating conditional knowledge, automatizing a monitoring heuristic, and creating a supportive motivational environment in the classroom. I conclude with a few thoughts about general cognitive skills instruction.

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Authors

  • Gregory Schraw

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