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Metacognitive strategies that enhance critical thinking

Abstract

The need to cultivate students’ use of metacognitive strategies in critical thinking has been emphasized in the related literature. The present study aimed at examining the role of metacognitive strategies in critical thinking. Ten university students with comparable cognitive ability, thinking disposition and academic achievement but with different levels of critical thinking performance participated in the study (five in the high-performing group and five in the low-performing group). They were tested on six thinking tasks using think-aloud procedures. Results showed that good critical thinkers engaged in more metacognitive activities, especially high-level planning and high-level evaluating strategies. The importance of metacognitive knowledge as a supporting factor for effective metacognitive regulation was also revealed. The contribution of metacognitive strategies to critical thinking and implications for instructional practice are discussed.

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Correspondence to Kelly Y. L. Ku.

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This paper is based on a presentation at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 13–17 April, 2009. This study was supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (Project no. CUHK 4118/04H).

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Ku, K.Y.L., Ho, I.T. Metacognitive strategies that enhance critical thinking. Metacognition Learning 5, 251–267 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9060-6

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Keywords

  • Metacognition
  • Metacognitive strategies
  • Critical thinking
  • Individual difference
  • Think aloud method