Essay by richardvanraayCollege, Undergraduate August 2007

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How do you promote the development of metacognition?First described by Flavell (1978) and Brown (1978) (Paris & Winograd, 2003) metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is an awareness and analyses of your own effective thinking, effective because it helps guide you onto the path of being an effectual learning, or as Croskerry (2003) describes it, metacognition is a "reflective approach to problem solving that involves stepping back from the immediate problem to examine and reflect on the thinking process." There are three important components of metacognitive strategies, what the strategy is (declarative knowledge), how the strategy operates (procedural knowledge), and when and why a strategy should be applied (conditional knowledge) (Paris, Lipson, & Wixson, 1983).Effective metacognitive learners are more likely to understand their own learning process, have a range of learning skills that they use strategically and automatically, plan and set goals as well as monitoring their performance (McInerney & McInerney, 2002).

Individual differences in metacognitive abilities may be caused by biological differences (nature) or through differences in individual learning experiences (nurture) (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2007). Students do develop some metacognitive strategies as part of their normal observation and learning ( McInerney & McInerney, 2002) and research shows that the acquisition of metacognition can be promoted through instructional intervention (Boekaerts, 1997). Brown (1980) suggests metacognitive teaching strategies for students reading which include, understanding the purpose of the reading task, thinking about which parts of the message are important, focusing on the main topic, monitoring your progress to ensure or check that you understand exactly what it is you are reviewing, and questioning yourself to see if you fully understand what you have read and if not, trying other tactics or strategies. McInerney & McInerney (2002) suggest various methods for teachers' to promote metacognition to students including; providing clear goals for...