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Metacognition: Clark and Mayer defines Metacognition as the mind's operating system (Clark and Mayer 2003). Brown et al. (ref.) aruges that "Metacognition refers to one's knowledge and control of the domain cognition."
In learning, Metacogntion often refers to the set of skills that manages the learning process. These include skills such as planning (the design of the learning process), monitoring (comparing actual progress to the desired one), self assessment (the ability to correctly evaluate one's own knowledge level), and debugging (identifying sources of failure and overcoming those).
This definition leaves much room for interpretation. Most researchers note the dichotomy of this defintion - it includes both knowledge of the cognitive level (what do I know? knowledge about knowledge) and management of the cognitive level (monitoring performance during problem solving) (Brown et al. 1975, Bransford et al. 2000, Shoenfeld et al. 1992).
Also, Brown et al. note that this definition includes to different types of skills: The konwledge about cognition (or knowledge about knowledge, for example, the skill of self assessment), vs. the regulation of congitioin (for example, choosing what actions to perform).
Schoenfeld (1992) includes the same two aspects of metacognition: knowledge about knowledge, and self-regulating during problem solving.
As Brown et al. note, it is often difficult to distinguish between the metacognitive and the cognitive level. To what extent are strategic skills, which are relevant to specific domoains, metacognitive?
Flavell: "Metacognitive knowledge consists primarily of knowledge or beliefs about what factors or variables act and interact in what ways to affect the course and outcome of cognitive enterprises. There are three major categories of these factors or variables-person, task, and strategy."
Metacognitive knowledge is somewhat domain independent.
Talk about self explanation. Spontaneous may be Metacog, but what about just answering 'why?'
- Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school. National Academy Press.
- Clark, r. c., & Mayer, r. e. (2003). E-Learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
- Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and Cognitive Monitoring: A New Area of Cognitive-Developmental Inquiry. American Psychologist, (34), 906-11.
- Schoenfeld, A. H. (1992). Learning to think mathematically: Problem solving,
metacognition, and sense-making in mathematics. In D. Grouws (Eds.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 334-70). New-York: MacMillan.