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Metacognition has been defined as having knowledge cognition and having understanding control over and appropriate use of that knowledge Tei and Stewart as cited by Collins 1994 p 2 Wellman as cited by Berk 1997 refers to metacognitive knowledge as being made up of four interrelated component knowledge of self task strategies and interaction The conscious control over and use of these knowledge components emerges through the application of metacognitive skills or strategies which include all those methods learners employ to think study and solve problems Slavin 1997Unlike some other areas of child development there is no one theorist credited as heralding and mastering thought on metacognitive development Rather there have been numerous researchers who have made considerable contributions towards a better understanding of how students study strategies change as they become older In their study of students from fifth grade through tertiary education Fleming et al 1993 found a developmental trend for increasing differentiation of lower-level rote memory strategies and high-level being-based and self-regulatory strategies during the high school and university years Flavell as cited by Warton 1998 attributes much of this differentiation to greater metacognitive knowledge of self and task in that as students mature they are far more accurate in estimating their memory capacity or changing their strategies and predictions for the next time of they over-estimated They are also likely to learn the gist of the material the general idea as opposed to verbatim memory input which is common to children up to eight years of ageRafoth Leal and Defabo 1993 also argue that as students develop they are less likely to use rehearsal as a study routine and more likely to acquire sophisticated learning strategies p26 such as semantic organisation of material self-testing and elaboration - Creating visual or verbal connections that add meaning to material Rafoth et al 1993 p25 With specific attention to self-testing Loraner 1994 argues that more mature students are more efficient monitors of their
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