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European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 163–178 | Cite as

Fifth graders metacognitive knowledge: general or domain-specific?

  • Nora NeuenhausEmail author
  • Cordula Artelt
  • Klaus Lingel
  • Wolfgang Schneider
Article

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the structure of metacognitive knowledge in fifth grade pupils and its relation to school achievement. Since the structure of metacognitive knowledge is controversially discussed with little empirical evidence for either its domain specificity or its domain transferability, the debate remains somewhat hypothetical up to date. In theory it is assumed that the development of metacognitive knowledge begins highly domain and situation-specific and becomes more flexible and domain-transcending with practice and experience (Borkowski et al. 2000). As standardized measures to assess metacognitive knowledge of students in the age group under investigation were missing, newly developed instruments were applied to assess the domain-specific metacognitive knowledge in reading and mathematics as well as domain-transcending metacognitive knowledge. The influences of domain-specific and general metacognitive knowledge on school achievement in the two domains were analyzed. While findings on the structure of metacognitive knowledge indicate some degree of domain specificity, they also point out a strong relation between general metacognitive knowledge and domain-specific metacognitive knowledge. The cross-sectional relation between metacognitive knowledge and academic achievement were relatively low. Implications for future research will be discussed.

Keywords

Metacognition Metacognitive knowledge Cross-curricular competencies Academic achievement 

Résumé

L’objet de l’étude était l’exploration de la structure du savoir métacognitive des élèves de cinquième classe et sa relation aux compétences scolaires. Concernant la structure du savoir métacognitive il y a une discussion plutôt hypothétique qu’empirique. D’un part le savoir est considéré restreint à un domaine, d’autre part il est considéré transférable aux différents domaines. En théorie, le savoir métacognitive commence à se développer dans un domaine et dans une situation particulière, en utilisant ce savoir et avec l’expérience il devient plus flexible et finalement peut être transféré à d'autres domaines (Borkowski et al. 2000). Manquant des instruments standardisés pour des élèves de cinquième classe (système éducatif allemand), des nouveaux tests étaient appliqués pour mesurer le savoir métacognitive non seulement aux domaines de la lecture et des mathématiques mais encore le savoir métacognitive générale. L`influence du savoir métacognitive spécifique et générale sur les compétences des élèves en lecture et aux mathématiques était analysée. S’agissant de la structure du savoir métacognitive, les analyses indiquent un certain degré de spécificité de domaine même s’il y soit une relation forte entre le savoir métacognitive générale et celui-ci des deux domaines. Entre le savoir métacognitive et les compétences scolaires (la lecture et les mathématiques) il n’y a qu’une faible relation. Certaines implications pour des prochaines recherches seront discutées.

Notes

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media BV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nora Neuenhaus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cordula Artelt
    • 1
  • Klaus Lingel
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Schneider
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational ResearchUniversity of BambergBambergGermany
  2. 2.Departement of PsychologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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