Metacognition, self-regulation & meta-knowing

David Whitebread, Deborah PINO PASTERNAK

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


Since its original conception in the early 1970s by John Flavell and Ann Brown, the area of ‘metacognition’ (i.e. the processes whereby individuals become increasingly aware of and able to control their own cognitive processes) has developed into a highly significant field of research, which has major implications for education at all levels and across the entire span of the curriculum. This significance arises from two well-established findings within the now considerable research literature. First, that a learner’s metacognitive skilfulness makes a contribution to their effectiveness as a learner independent of traditionally measured intelligence (Veenman & Spaans, 2005). Indeed, some researchers have claimed that its makes the major contribution to learning (Wang, Haertel, & Walberg, 1990); certainly, metacognitive deficits have been found to be a key problem for many children with learning difficulties (Sugden, 1989). Second, that metacognitive and ‘self-regulatory’ abilities are highly teachable, as indicated by a wide range of intervention studies with all age groups (Hattie, Biggs, & Purdie, 1996; Swanson, Hoskyn, & Lee, 1999; Dignath, Buettner, & Langfeldt, 2008).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Psychology in Education
EditorsKaren Littleton, Clare Wood, Judith Kleine Staarman
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages39
ISBN (Print)9781848552326
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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