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date: 01 December 2022

Cognition, Metacognition, and Self-Regulated Learninglocked

Cognition, Metacognition, and Self-Regulated Learninglocked

  • Philip H. WinnePhilip H. WinneSimon Fraser University

Summary

Psychology’s attention to mental events took root in the middle of the 19th century and grew through studies of learning, forgetting, and problem solving. Following several decades during which behaviorism dominated the field, cognitive studies of learning rapidly expanded after the mid-1960s. Foci for research concerned how learners acquire different kinds information, particularly declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge, and schemas, and identifying cognitive operations learners can apply to transform experience into knowledge. What learners know significantly shapes what they learn. Prior knowledge often benefits learning, but inaccurate knowledge, called misconceptions, and skills applied indiscriminately can impede it. Effort to learn, called cognitive load, is not a unary concept. Designing learning tasks to focus cognition in ways germane to content is one key to effective instruction.

Learners can think about their cognition and its properties. This is metacognition. Examples include judgments of whether and what is learned, planning shaped by the relative success in tasks and affective experiences, and decisions to abandon risky or unproductive tasks. Measures of metacognition, predominantly learners’ reports as opposed to direct indicators, correlate modestly with achievement, but this may reflect that students are not often educated in study tactics and learning strategies. Metacognition is a key factor in learners’ decisions about which study tactics and learning strategies they use, and a challenge learners face is overcoming overconfidence about what they know. The metacognitive decision-making event is modeled as an If–Then production. Metacognitive control of how learners choose to go about learning is conditional on metacognitive monitoring of conditions the learner believes will influence learning processes and outcomes. When learners experiment with approaches to learning, they engage in self-regulated learning (SRL). SRL is a very energetic area of research that spans investigations into learners’ metacognition about conditions for learning, operations on information, products resulting from those operations, and evaluations of products in terms of standards the learner holds; the COPES model. Like its foundation in metacognition, SRL also correlates modestly with achievement and is similarly challenged by relying on learners’ self-reports about SRL. However, learners can be taught how to better apply SRL which may realize benefits to achievement.

Subjects

  • Cognition, Emotion, and Learning

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