What is metacognition?

In this article, Michael Martinez clarifies what metacognition is, explores the different dimensions of metacognition and presents ideas about how to teach metacognitive skills. He presents a taxonomy of metacognition that really clarifies the different dimensions of metacognition. He divides metacognitive functioning in to three major categories:

  • Metamemory and Metacomprehension – relates to understanding one’s own knowledge. Metamemory refers to one’s self-awareness about one’s memory (You don’t remember who was at Christmas Dinner and you know you don’t remember), whereas metacomprehension refers to one’s self-awareness about one’s understanding (You don’t understand what you just read and you realize that you don’t understand it.)
  • Problem solving – which he defines as the pursuit of a goal when the path to the goal is uncertain
  • Critical thinking – the ability to assess whether an idea or message is valid by assessing whether it is clear, logical, rational, coherent, whether there is any evidence, and whether the analysis is convincing

Lastly, he provides some recommendations about teaching metacognitive skills in the classroom. I found this article not only answered the question of what metacognition is, but helped clarify its dimensions so that I could further sort my thinking (and my resources) about metacognition.

What is Metacognition? by Michael Martinez

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This entry was posted in Learning how to Learn, Teaching Thinking - Metacognition, Problem Solving. Bookmark the permalink.

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