An intro to metacogntion

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Before I post about my experiment, I thought I would share a few links to articles that outline metacognition as a concept and research that provided a basis for my project.

Flavell (1979) first coined the term metacogntion and below is a link to one of his first papers on the topic. In the paper he describes the emerging field and outlines a model of metacogntion.

(If I am being honest, you don’t have to read this whole paper, the abstract gives you enough information to understand how the area arose…)


I would however recommend that you read the next article…

Livingstons’ (2003) paper provides a brief account of the area outlining key components and discussing some previous research.


Reasons to read: It’s 3 1/2 pages of metacognitive goodness! and should tell you all the basic things you need to know.

Hopefully those articles have provided you with the general idea of metacogntion, the next are more specific to my 3rd year project…

I thought about including some articles on the development of individuals metacognitive strategies in a lab setting,but seeing as the module focuses on taking scientific research into the classroom I am going to skip straight to its application in the real world:

Nietfeld, Cao & Osbourne (2005): this article describes how weekly metacognitive exercises were found to improve the accuracy of judgement in individuals.


Nietfeld, Cao & Osbourne (2006): takes the previous research and expands on it, applying metacognitive monitoring into the curriculum of an ed psych class. Its findings suggest that metacognition can be successfully integrated in a classroom setting.


I hope that the fore mentioned articles have provided you with a further insight into metacognition. I have kept my description of the articles short to force you to read  them!

In my next blog post I will be discussing the Nietfeld papers in more detail and relating them to my 3rd year project.

  1. Further to our discussion after Sam’s talk on Monday, I am enjoying my introduction to metacognition. Your blogs are a great place to start!

    I wanted to further clarify my query about metacognition’s ability to inform all learning. Flavell (1979) defined metacognition as “conscious cognitive or affective experiences” which leads me to wonder how a student that is unaware of their incompetence could (begin to) make progress?

    The ‘conscious competence’ learning model suggests four stages of an individuals’ knowledge or understanding in any given area:
    Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence
    Stage 2: Conscious incompetence
    Stage 3: Conscious competence’
    Stage 4: Unconscious competence

    As Livingstone (1997) says ‘metacognition’ as a term can be overly broad and has been used to describe various related cognitions. Am I confusing the issue?! From what I understand, metacognition involves skills which need to be taught so would stage 1 suggest someone who has not been exposed to metacognitive strategies (i.e. is in need of Cognitive Strategy Instruction)?

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