Metacognition refers to “cognition about cognition”, “thinking about thinking”, “knowing about knowing”, becoming “aware of one’s awareness”. It was introduced as a concept by John Flavell, who is typically seen as the founding scholar of the field.
Metacognition is the knowledge you have about your own thinking. The term comes from the word meta, meaning “beyond” or “on top of”.
Metacognition involves thinking about one’s own thinking process such as study skills, memory capabilities, and the ability to monitor learning. This means that a learner can question their thinking process and try to understand why they couldn’t solve a particular problem.
Metacognition involves self-regulation and self-reflection of strengths, weaknesses, and the types of strategies you create towards your learning.
Metacognitive knowledge involves:
- Learning processes and your beliefs about how you learn and how you think others learn,
- The task of learning and how you process information, and
- The strategies you develop and when you will use them.
Learners who demonstrate a wide range of metacognitive skills perform better on exams and complete work more efficiently.
These learners are self-regulated and they utilise the right tools for the job and modify learning strategies and skills based on their awareness of effectiveness.
A high level of metacognitive knowledge helps individuals identify learning obstacles as early as possible and change their tools or strategies to ensure that they achieve their goals.
Could this be the future of learning? Instead of teachers trying to figure out the best learning method for each learner, learners can make it easier by identifying the gaps themselves and share them with the teacher.