27 SES 02 B, Learning Strategies in Scientific Subject Matters
Many governments and researchers recognize autonomous, lifelong learning as the best way to cope with the unpredictably changing world. This is vividly illustrated in the declarations of the European Union which – ever since 2000 - underline the necessity to create a European, ‘learning society’ where citizens learn autonomously throughout their lifespan (‘Education and Training 2020’ report). Likewise, various reforms of National Curricula (e.g. in England, Scotland, Cyprus, Norway) – many of which are still in progress – give emphasis to the creation of key competences for lifelong learning.
In research community, the idea of self-directed learning was expressed quite earlier, in 1979, by ‘metacognition’ (Flavell, 1979). The term still remains complex and vague, but there is growing consensus among researchers that metacognition leads to lifelong learning, as it involves both personal knowledge of ‘what is known’ and autonomous control of occurring learning. This control is materialized by the purposeful appliance of various metacognitive skills (Kluwe, 1982; Brown, 1987; Kuhn, 2000). Metacognitive monitoring is one of these skills. It is the ability to monitor your cognitive level and indicate what you know or ignore (Miner and Reder, 1994∙ Son & Schwartz, 2002). According to Nelson and Narens (1994) during monitoring, learners make judgments about their ability to retrieve stored information before or after a test/ cognitive task. With these judgments, learners enrich their knowledge about their own cognitive strengths and weaknesses and they can make decisions about how to implement other metacognitive skills in order to improve (de Bruin et al. 2011; Krebs & Roebers, 2012). For instance, they can program further learning actions, correct mistakes, relearn information or skills, devote study time and in general, guide further learning (Kelemen, 2000; Tobias & Everson, 1996˙ Vadham & Stauder, 1994).
Research evidence also indicates that most metacognitive skills are enacted during the first school years (Veenman, Van Hout-Wolters & Afflerbach, 2006) and they are improved with practice (e.g. Palinscar & Brown, 1984; Loizidou & Koutselini, 1997; Kramarski & Mevarech, 2003). However, most of these research results came from small scale interventions and action research, and did not relate to metacognitive monitoring. In addition, the limited research about metacognitive judgments was usually conducted out of classrooms, with adults or older children (Alexander, Carr & Schwanenflugel, 1995). Thus, very little is known about monitoring at young ages, and most importantly if and how this skill can be enhanced in schools.
Having this in mind, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the development of metacognitive monitoring in 8-year-old children, its effects on students’ cognitive development in Maths and its relation with teaching approaches implemented in primary school classrooms. In order to collect more detailed information, examination focused on two forms of metacognitive monitoring: FOK and Confidence Judgments. Following Nelson and Narens (1990, 1994), Feeling of Knowing (‘FOK’) judgments concern the effectiveness of performance in a future test without recalling all the information required at the time of the judgment. Metacognitive Confidence judgments concern the correctness of performance in a test after its completion.
Three research questions were set:
a) How FOK and Confidence judgments of 8-year-old students develop during a school year?
b) How FOK and Confidence Judgments affect the development of students’ performance in Mathematics?
c) What teaching approaches improve students’ FOK and Confidence judgments?
Alexander, J.M., Carr, M. & Schwanenflugel, P.J. (1995). Development of Metacognition in Gifted Children: Directions for Future Research. Developmental Review, 15(1), 1-37. Brown, A. (1987). Metacognition, Executive Control, Self-Regulation and Other More Mysterious Mechanisms. In F.F. Weinert & R.H. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition, Motivation and Understanding, (pp. 65-116), New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. De Bruin, A. B. H., Thiede, K. W., Camp, G., & Redford, J. (2011). Generating keywords improves metacomprehension and self-regulation in elementary and middle school children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109, 294–310. Εfklides, A. (2001). Metacognitive experiences in problem solving: Metacognition, motivation, and self-regulation. In A. Efklides, J.Kuhl, & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Trends and prospects in motivation research (pp. 297-323). The Netherlands: Kluwer. Everson, H. & Tobias, S. (2001). The ability to estimate knowledge and performance in college: A metacognitive analysis. In H.J. Hartman (Ed.), Metacognition in Learning and Instruction (pp.69-83). The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Flavell, J.H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive developmental enquiry. American Psychologist, 34, 906-911. Kelemen, W.L. (2000). Metamemory Cues and Monitoring Accuracy: Judging What you Know and What You Will Know. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 (4), 800-810. Kluwe, R.H. (1982). Cognitive knowledge and executive control. In D. Griffin (Ed.), Human mind-animal mind (pp. 201-224). New York: Springer. Kramarski, B. & Mevarech, Z.R. (2003). Enhancing mathematical reasoning in the classroom: The effect of cooperative learning and metacognitive training. American Educational Research Journal, 40, 281-310. Krebs, S. S., & Roebers C. M. (2012). The impact of retrieval processes, age, general achievement level, and test scoring scheme for children’s metacognitive monitoring and controlling. Metacognition and Learning, 7(2), 75-90. Loizidou, A. & Koutselini, M. (2007). Metacognitive monitoring: A key and an obstacle to effective learning. Teachers & Teaching, 13(5), 499-521. Metcalfe, J. & Linn, B. (2013). Metacognition and control of study choice in children. Metacognition and Learning, 8, 19-46. Miner, A. & Reder, L.M. (1994). A New Look at Feeling of Knowing: Its Metacognitive Role in Regulating Question Answering. Ιn J. Metcalfe & A.P. Shimamura (Eds.), Metacognition: Knowing about Knowing (pp.47-70). Cambridge: MIT Press. Nelson, T.O. & Narens, L. (1990). Metamemory: A theoretical framework and new findings. In G.H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, Volume 26, 125-141. New York: Academic Press. Veenman, M.V.J., Van Hout-Wolters, B.H.A.M & Afflerbach, P. (2006). Metacognition and Learning: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations. Metacognition and Learning, 1, 3-14.
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