Toward Convergence of Critical Thinking, Metacognition, and Reflection: Illustrations from Natural and Social Sciences, Teacher Education, and Classroom Practice

  • Carole L. Ford
  • Larry D. YoreEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 40)


This chapter argues that the move toward constructivism has necessitated critical considerations of knowledge about thinking, awareness of personal thinking resources, ability to control use of these resources, and the willingness to enact and reflect on these resources in constructing valid and justified understandings and actions. These considerations have promoted a potential convergence of three useful constructs emerging from different academic traditions—critical thinking, metacognition, and reflection—that provide greater and more diverse insights than any single construct. The evolution of these constructs has been moved forward by the interdisciplinary cognitive sciences and in interpretations of education reforms in the social and natural sciences, which emphasize ontological, epistemological, linguistic, and pedagogical considerations. The intersection of these perspectives and reforms promotes domain-specific literacy for all students that involve (a) an interacting collection of abilities, thinking, communications, cognitive resources, habits of mind, and information communication technologies to construct understanding of the big ideas and unifying conceptions in science or social studies and (b) fuller and informed participation in the democratic debate toward sustainable judgments about science, technology, society, and environment (STSE) issues. We claim that the changing perspectives and evolving interpretations have implications for research, teacher education, curriculum, and instruction. This chapter extends the conceptual discussion on metacognition. It shows that the “fuzziness” of the definitions in the area of metacognition extends also to the “fuzzy borders” that exist between metacognition and other important constructs in the field of thinking and learning, such as critical thinking and reflection.


Critical Thinking Information Communication Technology Progressive Education Metacognitive Knowledge Reflective Thinking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science +Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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