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The role of metacognitive skills in developing critical thinking

Abstract

The study investigated the influence of metacognition on critical thinking skills. It is hypothesized in the study that critical thinking occurs when individuals use their underlying metacognitive skills and strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. The Metacognitive Assessment Inventory (MAI) by Schraw and Dennison (Contemporary Educational Psychology 19:460–475, 1994), which measures regulation of cognition and knowledge of cognition, and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) with the factors inference, recognition of assumptions, deduction, interpretations, and evaluation of arguments were administered to 240 college students from different universities in the National Capital Region in the Philippines. The Structural Equations Modeling (SEM) was used to determine the effect of metacognition on critical thinking as latent variables. Two models were tested: (1) In the first model, metacognition is composed of two factors while (2) in the second model, metacognition has eight factors as they affect critical thinking. The results indicated that in both models, metacognition has a significant path to critical thinking, p < .05. The analysis also showed that for both metacognition and critical thinking, all underlying factors are significant. The second model had a better goodness of fit as compared with the first as shown by the RMSEA value and other fit indices.

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Acknowledgment

Special thanks to my students who participated in the study and helped me gather and encode the data.

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Correspondence to Carlo Magno.

Appendix

Appendix

Sample Critical Thinking Items

These sample items were patterned from the WGCTA

Inference

figure a

Recognition of Assumption

figure b

Interpretation

figure c

Evaluation of Arguments

figure d

Deduction

figure e

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Magno, C. The role of metacognitive skills in developing critical thinking. Metacognition Learning 5, 137–156 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9054-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9054-4

Keywords

  • Critical thinking
  • Metacognition