, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 59-82
Date: 30 Jan 2008

Explicit teaching of meta-strategic knowledge in authentic classroom situations

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Abstract

Meta-strategic Knowledge (MSK) is a sub-component of metacognition that is defined in the present study as general, explicit knowledge about thinking strategies. In the present study we shall focus on the control of variables thinking strategy. Following an earlier study (Zohar & Peled 2007) that showed considerable effects of explicit instruction of MSK in laboratory setting, this study explores whether these effects are preserved in authentic classroom situations. Participants were 119 8th grade students from 6 classes of a heterogeneous school. Equal numbers of low-achieving and high-achieving students were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. The findings showed dramatic developments in students’ strategic and meta-strategic thinking following instruction. The effect of the treatment was preserved in delayed transfer tests. Our findings show that explicit teaching of MSK had a strong effect on low achieving students. The implications of the findings for learning and instruction are discussed.