Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 351–371 | Cite as

Metacognitive theories

  • Gregory Schraw
  • David Moshman
Article

Abstract

This paper proposes a framework for understanding people's theories about their own cognition. Metacognitive theories are defined broadly as systematic frameworks used to explain and direct cognition, metacognitive knowledge, and regulatory skills. We distinguish tacit, informal, and formal metacognitive theories and discuss critical differences among them using criteria borrowed from the developmental literature. We also consider the origin and development of these theories, as well as implications for educational research and practice.

Key Words

metacognition self-regulation metacognitive theories knowledge 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander, P. A., Schallert, D. L., and Hare, V. C. (1991). Coming to terms: How researchers in learning and literacy talk about knowledge.Rev. Educ. Res. 61: 315–343.Google Scholar
  2. Astington, J. W. (1993).The Child's Discovery of Mind, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  3. Astington, J. W., Harris, P. L., and Olson, D. (eds.), (1988).Developing Theories of Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, L. (1989). Metacognition, comprehension monitoring, and the adult reader.Educ. Psychol. Rev. 1: 3–38.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, L. (1991) Metacognition, reading, and science education. In Santa, C., and Alvermann, D. (eds.),Science Learning: Processes and Applications, International Reading Association, Newark, Delaware.Google Scholar
  6. Beckwith, R. T. (1991). The language of emotion, the emotions, and nominalist bootstrapping. In Frye, D., and Moore, C. (eds.),Children's Theories of Mind: Mental States and Social Understanding, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  7. Benack, S., and Basseches, M. A. (1989). Dialectical thinking and relativistic epistemology: Their relation in adult development. In Commons, M., Sinnott, J., Richards, F., and Armon, C. (eds.),Adult Development (Vol. 1): Comparisons and Applications of Developmental Models, Praeger, New York, pp. 95–110.Google Scholar
  8. Bereiter, C., and Scardamalia, M. (1987).The Psychology of Written Composition, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  9. Bereiter, C., and Scardamalia, M. (1993).Surpassing Ourselves: An Inquiry into the Nature and Implications of Expertise, Open Court, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, A. (1987). Metacognition, executive control, self-regulation, and other more mysterious mechanisms. In Weinert, F., and Kluwe, R. (eds.),Metacognition, Motivation, and Understanding, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 65–116.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, A. L., and Palincsar, A. S. (1989). Guided, cooperative learning and individual knowledge acquisition. In Resnick, L. B. (ed.),Knowing and Learning: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 393–451.Google Scholar
  12. Bunge, M. (1972). Metatheory. InScientific Thought: Some Underlying Concepts, Methods, and Processes, Mouton, Paris, pp. 227–252.Google Scholar
  13. Byrnes, J. P. (1992). Categorizing and combining theories of cognitive development and learning,Educ. Psychol. Rev. 4: 1–35.Google Scholar
  14. Chandler, M. (1988). Doubts and developing theories of mind. In Astington, J. W., Harris, P. L., and Olson, D. (eds.),Developing Theories of Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 387–413.Google Scholar
  15. Chi, M. T. H., Glaser, R., and Farr, M. J. eds.) (1988).The Nature of Expertise, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  16. Cross, D. R., and Paris, S. G. (1988). Developmental and instructional analyses of children's metacognition and reading comprehension.J. Educa. Psychol. 80: 131–142.Google Scholar
  17. Delclos, V. R., and Harrington, C. (1991). Effects of strategy monitoring and proactive instruction on children's problem-solving performance.J. Educ. Psychol. 83: 35–42.Google Scholar
  18. Dweck, C. S., and Leggett, E. S. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality.Psychol. Rev. 95: 256–273.Google Scholar
  19. Ericsson, K. A., and Oliver, W. L. (1988). Methodology for laboratory research on thinking: Task selection, collection of observations, and data analysis. In Sternberg, R. J., and Smith, E. E. (eds.),The Psychology of Human Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 392–428.Google Scholar
  20. Flavell, J. H. (1987). Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition. In Weinert, F., and Kluwe, R. (eds.),Metacognition, Motivation, and Understanding, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 21–29.Google Scholar
  21. Flavell, J. H. (1992). Perspectives on perspective taking. In Beilin, H., and Pufall, P. (eds.),Piaget's Theory: Prospects and Possibilities Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 109–139.Google Scholar
  22. Flavell, J. H., Miller, P. H., and Miller, S. A. (1993).Cognitive Development (3rd Ed.), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  23. Garner, R. (1987).Metacognition and Reading Comprehension, Ablex Publishing, Norwood, NJ.Google Scholar
  24. Garner, R. (1990). When children and adults do not use learning strategies: Toward a theory of settings.Rev. Educ. Res. 60: 517–529.Google Scholar
  25. Garner, R., and Alexander, P. A. (1989). Metacognition: Answered and unanswered questions.Educ. Psychol. 24: 143–158.Google Scholar
  26. Geil, M., and Moshman, D. (June, 1994). Scientific Reasoning and Social Interaction: The Four-Card Task in Five-Person Groups. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  27. Glaser, R., and Chi, M. T. (1988). Overview, In Chi, M., Glaser, R., and Farr M. (eds.),The Nature of Expertise, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. xv-xxviii.Google Scholar
  28. Glenberg, A. M., Sanocki, T., Epstein, W., and Morris, C. (1987). Enhancing calibration of comprehension.J. Exp. Psychol.: Gen. 116: 119–136.Google Scholar
  29. Goldsmith, T. E., Johnson, P. J., and Acton, W. H. (1991). Assessing structural knowledge.J. Educ. Psychol. 83: 88–96.Google Scholar
  30. Guzzetti, B. J., Snyder, T. E., Glass, G. V., and Gamas, W. S. (1993). Promoting conceptual change in science: A comparative meta-analysis of instructional interventions from reading education and science education.Reading Res. Quart. 28: 116–161.Google Scholar
  31. Hergenhahn, B. R., and Olson, M. H. (1993).An Introduction to Theories of Learning (4th Ed.), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  32. Jacobs, J. E., and Paris, S. G. (1987). Children's metacognition about reading: Issues in definition, measurement, and instruction.Educ. Psychol. 22: 255–278.Google Scholar
  33. Justice, E. M., and Weaver-McDougall, R. G. (1989). Adult's knowledge about memory: Awareness and use of memory strategies across tasks.J. Educ. Psychol. 81: 214–219.Google Scholar
  34. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Implications of research on teacher belief.Educ. Psychol. 27: 65–90.Google Scholar
  35. Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992).Beyond Modularity: A Developmental Perspective on Cognitive Science, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  36. Karmiloff-Smith, A., and Inhelder, B. (1974–75). If you want to get ahead, get a theory.Cognition 3: 195–212.Google Scholar
  37. King, A. (1991). Effects of training in strategic questioning on children's problem-solving performance.J. Educ. Psychol. 83: 307–317.Google Scholar
  38. King, P. M., and Kitchener, K. S. (1994).Developing Reflective Judgment, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  39. Kitchener, K. S. (1983). Cognition, metacognition, and epistemic cognition.Human Devel. 26: 222–232.Google Scholar
  40. Kluwe, R. H. (1987). Executive decisions and regulation of problem solving. In Weinert, F., and Kluwe, R. (eds.),Metacognition, Motivation, and Understanding, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 31–64.Google Scholar
  41. Kuhn, D. (1989). Children and adults as intuitive scientists.Psychol. Rev., 96: 674–689.Google Scholar
  42. Kuhn, D. (1991).The Skills of Argument, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  43. Kuhn, D., Schauble, L., and Garcia-Mila, M. (1992). Cross-domain development of scientific reasoning.Cognit. Instr. 9: 285–327.Google Scholar
  44. Leal, L. (1987). Investigation of the relation between metamemory and university students' examination performance.J. Educ. Psychol. 79: 35–40.Google Scholar
  45. Lorch, R. F., Lorch, E. P., and Klusewitz, M. A. (1993). College student's conditional knowledge about reading.J. Educ. psychol. 85: 239–252.Google Scholar
  46. McCutcheon, G. (1992). Facilitating teacher personal theorizing. In Ross, E. W., Cornett, J. W., and McCutcheon, G. (eds.),Teacher Personal Theorizing: Connecting Curriculum Practice, Theory and Research, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY.Google Scholar
  47. Miller, P. H. (1985).Metacognition and Attention, In Forrest-Pressley, D. L., McKinnon, E. G., and Waller, T. G. (eds.),Metacognition, Cognition, and Human Performance, Academic Press, New York, pp. 181–221.Google Scholar
  48. Montgomery, D. E. (1992). Young children's theory of knowing: The development of a folk epistemology,.Devel. Rev. 12: 410–430.Google Scholar
  49. Moore, C., and Frye, D. (1991). The acquisition and utility of theories of mind. In Frye, D., and Moore, C. (eds.),Children's Theories of Mind: Mental States and Social Understanding, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  50. Moshman, D. (1979). Toreally get ahead, get a metatheory. In Kuhn, D. (ed.),Intellectual Development Beyond Childhood, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 59–68.Google Scholar
  51. Moshman, D. (1990). The development of metalogical understanding. In Overton, W. F. (ed.),Reasoning, Necessity, and Logic: Developmental Perspectives, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 205–225.Google Scholar
  52. Moshman, D., and Franks, B. A. (1986). Development of the concept of inferential validity.Child Devel. 57: 153–165.Google Scholar
  53. Palincsar, A. S., and Brown, A. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension fostering and monitoring activities.Cognit. Instr. 1: 117–175.Google Scholar
  54. Paris, S. G., and Byrnes, J. P. (1989). The constructivist approach to self-regulation and learning in the classroom. In Zimmerman, B., and Schunk, D. (eds.),Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement: Theory, Research, and Practice, Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 169–200.Google Scholar
  55. Paris, S. G., Cross, D. R., and Lipson, M. Y. (1984). Informed strategies for learning: A program to improve children's reading awareness and comprehension.J. Educ. Psychol. 76: 1239–1252.Google Scholar
  56. Pontecorvo, C. (1993). Social interaction in the acquisition of knowledge.Educ. Psychol. Rev. 5: 293–310.Google Scholar
  57. Poplin, M. S. (1988). Holistic/constructivist principles of the teaching/learning process: Implications for the field of learning disabilities.J. Learn. Dis. 21: 401–416.Google Scholar
  58. Pressley, M., Borkowski, J. G., and Schneider, W. (1987). Cognitive strategies: Good strategy users coordinate metacognition and knowledge. In Vasta, R., and Whitehurst, G. (eds.),Annals of Child Development (Vol. 5), JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, pp. 89–129.Google Scholar
  59. Pressley, M., and Ghatala, E. S. (1990). Self-regulated learning: Monitoring learning from text.Educ. Psychol. 25: 19–33.Google Scholar
  60. Pressley, M., Harris, K. R., and Marks, M. B. (1992). But good strategy instructors are constructivists.Educ. Psychol. Rev. 4: 3–31.Google Scholar
  61. Reich, K. H., Oser, F. K., and Valentin, P. (1994). Knowing why I now know Better: Children's and youth's explanations of their worldview changes.J. Res. Adolesc. 4: 151–173.Google Scholar
  62. Reynolds, R. E. (1992). Selective attention and prose learning: Theoretical and empirical research.Educ. Psychol. Rev. 4: 345–391.Google Scholar
  63. Rogoff, B. (1990).Apprenticeship in Thinking: Cognitive Development in Social Context, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  64. Schneider, W., and Pressley, M. (1989).Memory Development Between 2 and 20, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  65. Schön, D. (1987).Educating the Reflective Practitioner, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  66. Schraw, G. (1994). The effect of metacognitive knowledge on local and global monitoring.Contemp. Educ. Psychol. 19: 143–154.Google Scholar
  67. Slife, B. D., and Weaver, C. A., III (1992). Depression, cognitive skill, and metacognitive skill in problem solving.Cognit. Emotion 6: 1–22.Google Scholar
  68. Stanovich, K. E. (1990). Concepts in developmental theories of reading skill: Cognitive resources, automaticity, and modularity.Devel. Rev. 10: 72–100.Google Scholar
  69. Sternberg, R. J. (1986).The triarchic mind: A new theory of human intelligence, Penguin Books, New York.Google Scholar
  70. Sternberg, R. J., and Caruso, D. R. (1985). Practical modes of knowing. In Eisner, E. (ed.),Learning and Teaching the Ways of Knowing, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  71. Swanson, H. L. (1990). Influence of metacognitive knowledge and aptitude on problem solving.J. Educ. Psychol. 82: 306–314.Google Scholar
  72. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978).Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  73. Wason, P. C. (1966). Reasoning. In Foss, B. M. (ed.),New Horizons in Psychology, Penguin Books, New York.Google Scholar
  74. Youniss, J., and Damon, W. (1992). Social construction in Piaget's theory. In Beilin, H., and Pufall, P. (eds.),Piaget's Theory: Prospects and Possibilities, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 267–286.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Schraw
    • 1
  • David Moshman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln

Personalised recommendations